Garcia Introduces “Move Long Beach” to Improve Physical Fitness and Health
2012-02-03 · By Editor
Councilmember Robert Garcia has introduced two new pieces of legislation for the February 7 City Council meeting agenda, both aimed at improving the health of Long Beach residents by encouraging participation in physical fitness, extending healthful food choices into underserved neighborhoods, and creating policies that support nutrition, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. Both items are cosponsored by Vice-Mayor Suja Lowenthal, Councilmember James Johnson and Councilmember Steve Neal.
“Childhood obesity is a major challenge for our kids and for our country,” said Garcia. “We need to come together as a city to promote physical fitness and healthy food choices.”
As part of the initiative, Garcia will sponsor and participate in a series of “Move Long Beach” events in 2012 and has announced he will participate in the Long Beach Marathon, Long Beach Triathlon, Justin Rudd’s Turkey Trot, and Bike Tour of Long Beach. He will also be inviting other local elected officials to run, swim, walk and bike alongside him throughout the year.
Garcia “Move Long Beach” initiative is modeled on First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, which encourages exercise, physical fitness, and healthful food choices, particularly for children. The Move Long Beach item would organize all health related physical activities and organize them in the Mobility Element of the City’s General Plan. This would ensure that the city’s long term planning include creating a healthy city and healthy citizens. It also asks the City to promote a series of physical fitness events and create an online resources for residents to encourage participation in citywide health events.
Garcia also introduced the HEAL Resolution, an initiative being promoted by the League of California Cities and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy. The Resolution commits signatory municipalities to a series of health-related policy goals.
According to recent data reported in the Press-Telegram in 2011, More than 30% of 5th graders, 35% of 7th graders, and 21% of 9th graders in Long Beach are obese. Research by the Center for Public Health Advocacy found that obesity alone costs LA County $11.9 billion annually.