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Somerville recognized for fighting childhood obesity

Posted by Jarret Bencks  December 4, 2012 11:46 AM

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Courtesy, National League of Cities

Mayor Joseph Curtatone (left) accepts an award from the National League of Cities from Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services Howard Koh and NLC President Ted Ellis.

A city-run program in Somerville aimed at fighting child obesity was recognized by a national organization last week.

Shape Up Somerville received five medals from the National League of Cities on Thursday for its early childhood nutrition programs, farmers market programs, and its universal free breakfast and free or reduced lunch programs in public schools, as well as its efforts to increase physical activity in Somerville youth, according to an announcement from the National League of Cities.

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone was one of the key speakers in a ceremony in Boston Thursday, where the National League of Cities announced medals for 118 communities across the country.

"As the most densely populated, and one of the most diverse communities in New England, the challenge of nurturing healthy eating and lifestyles is greatly increased by cultural and economic diversity as well as a lack of open space for outdoor recreation," Curtatone said in a written statement. "...we have made great strides in these areas, and we are honored to be considered among some of the nation's most successful communities on this issue."

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @JarretBencks.

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