By Special to the Daily World
Mayor Kasim Reed welcomed First Lady Michelle Obama to Atlanta Wednesday afternoon to mark the first anniversary of Let’s Move!, a national initiative dedicated to combating the epidemic of childhood obesity.
Mrs. Obama visited Burgess Peterson Academy, a local Atlanta public school, where she was greeted by Mayor Reed and the principal, Robin Robbins. During her visit, Mrs. Obama highlighted how the school is working with children to promote healthy eating and bringing the principles of her national Let’s Move! campaign to life through gardening and healthy eating programs.
Following the visit to Burgess Peterson Academy, Reed joined Obama at North Point Community Church, one of the largest churches in America, where she delivered a major speech focused on the campaign’s efforts to meet the needs of parents. During the speech, which was hosted by North Point Community Church in Alpharetta and Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur. The first lady also shared personal reflections about how this issue has affected her as a parent, the momentum Let’s Move! has gained in the last year, and what more needs to be done in order to reduce childhood obesity in a generation.
Members of the two congregations, local Atlanta faith and community leaders and supporters of the Let’s Move! campaign were in the audience as Mrs. Obama highlighted accomplishments that will help provide parents with the resources they need to not only survive but to thrive in reaching young people at key points in their lives.
“I support and applaud First Lady Michelle Obama for working hard to improve the health of our nation’s children through the Let’s Move! initiative,” said Reed. “On the anniversary of Let’s Move!, I pledge to continue supporting the First Lady by working to fight and prevent childhood obesity among young people in Atlanta, and to encourage and promote positive decision-making related to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.”
“Too many young people in the City of Atlanta are suffering from diseases such as early onset diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol and other ailments because of unhealthy eating and living. As a community, we must make better decisions for our children about their health,” continued the mayor.
Reed, following the leadership of Mrs. Obama, has worked to fight and prevent childhood obesity among youth in Atlanta. Over the summer, Reed partnered with The Atlanta Braves, Ticketmaster, Aramark and the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) to promote healthy living and positive decision-making among metro Atlanta youth at the “Pitch for Fitness” challenge at Turner Field.