Boston Mayor Tom Menino is urging residents to join him in his new movement called "Boston Moves for Health."
During his State of the City address, Menino noted that his wish is for the city's 600,000+ residents to collectively lose 1 million pounds this year. "It's very realistic," stated Menino. "I'm getting a lot of enthusiastic response."
A 2008 survey conducted by the Boston Public Health Commission discovered that 23% of Boston's adults were considered obese and 31% are overweight. Percentages differed depending on neighborhoods however; in Mattapan the obesity rate soared at 40% compared with an 8% obesity rate in the Back Bay.
The "Boston Moves for Health" initiative will provide $250 grants to 100 daycare centers to help them improve the nutritional value of their food served as well as purchase play equipment to keep children active. The program also offers the free assistance of city nutritionists to local restaurants and corner stores to begin offering healthy menu options for children.
The Boston Public Health Commission will also be launching a "Boston Moves for Health" website and mobile application that people can use to find free and low-cost cooking classes, walking and bicycling groups and other healthy activities. People can also use the site to set weight goals and track their progress.