JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Two Mississippi mayors will join first lady Michelle Obama Wednesday to promote ways to fight childhood obesity.
Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. and Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed Jr. are among 13 local officials scheduled to take part in a Philadelphia event along with Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Obama is seeking broader participation in her "Let's Move!" effort to reduce childhood obesity. The event is being held in conjunction with the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in the Pennsylvania city.
Mississippi is one of the fattest states in the nation, but obesity among elementary school children has fallen in the state in recent years.
Reed has launched several initiatives. A task force helped group together displays of healthy snacks at eight stores and city concession stands, a program called "Health on a Shelf." The city's public school students run a mile each day and every second-grader in the city is offered swimming lessons.
"Everybody's pitched in to get us here," Reed told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (http://bit.ly/OEJsEp), recognizing the efforts of the Healthy Tupelo Task Force, Tupelo Parks and Recreation and the broader community over the past several years. "It's a real honor for Tupelo."
Tupelo won BlueCross BlueShield Foundation's Healthy Hometown Award two weeks ago.
Johnson is being honored for Jackson's 10-week walking campaign for city employees, called "Let's Go Jackson." More than 200 employees took part, with those who walked the most winning awards from businesses.
Information from: the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, www.djournal.com
Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, http://djournal.com