By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island was recognized by first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” children’s initiative for its exceptional work in promoting young children’s health and preventing childhood obesity.
The award was presented on May 9 at a recognition luncheon in Washington, D.C.
Rhode Island’s collaborative, multi-agency efforts were honored for its creative strategies, for its Healthy Weight program that engaged families in obesity prevention efforts, and its encouragement of healthy eating in the early care and education setting.
“This award is a great example of the significant strides that can be made when our state’s leaders work together toward a common goal,” said Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee. “This distinction speaks to the power of collaboration in building a stronger Rhode Island, beginning with the health and wellness of our youngest citizens and their families.”
“We are thrilled to win the state challenge, but more importantly, to connect childcare providers to the resources necessary to promote healthy habits in centers and homes throughout Rhode Island,” said Dr. Michael Fine, director of the R.I. Department of Health. “Early care and education settings represent a critical – and largely untapped –opportunity for obesity prevention efforts. This program, along with our state’s childhood and adolescent vaccination rates, is another example of how Rhode Island is leading at the national level.”
“Let’s Move!” is a nationwide call-to-action to empower early education and child care programs to make positive health changes in children that could last a lifetime.