Columbia's Anti-Obesity Program Top In Nation

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The City of Columbia has earned top honors in a program fighting childhood obesity, beating out hundreds of other cities also participating in the national Let's Move initiative.

"I am basically providing their physical activity for the day," said Scot Riley, who leads soccer programs during the City's Let's Move events and summer camps.

No matter the sport, physical activity is the goal.

"We're number one and of course we're ecstatic," said Lets Move Columbia coordinator Wanda Austin.

Columbia's program earned the top spot against 440 other 'Let's Move Cities, Towns, and Counties' communities across the country.

According to the national Let's Move website, Richland County and the City of Cayce also have Let's Move programs.

"Significant changes start with small changes," Austin said. "Walking to school with your kids or parking away from the store door, just walking in general."

Let's Move teaches young kids healthy habits, increases access to healthy food at schools, and provides more opportunities to get outside.

"What we're trying to do is teach kids good habits as kids," Riley said. "If they learn these things as they're younger, it will be a whole lot easier for them to hold on to when they grow up."

The City says citizen surveys show increased knowledge of healthy habits dealing with exercise and food.

"It's a healthier mentality we have within the city with Let's Move," Austin said.


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