Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, who put his city on a diet to combat childhood and adult obesity, will be sitting with First Lady Michelle Obama in her box at the State of the Union address tonight.
At the U.S. Conference of Mayors' winter meeting last week, Mrs. Obama discussed the importance of cities getting involved in combating childhood obesity, with, among other things, an emphasis on play. She praised Mayor Cornett specifically for the website he launched - thiscityisgoingonadiet.com - where people can learn how to lose weight and track their weight loss.
"That's what Mayor Cornett did, when he started talking about the problem of obesity and lost 40 pounds himself to get down to his target weight," she said. "And the people of his city took notice. When he goes to restaurants now, everyone watches what he orders. And a reporter quoted one of his constituents saying, 'When the mayor pushes you to lose weight, that says something.'"
Mayor Cornett's inclusion at the State of the Union tonight demonstrates the importance of sharing city-wide best practices in combating obesity. If you want your city to get involved in combating obesity by putting greater emphasis on play and outdoor activities, consider getting your city to become a Playful City USA and check our Play Matters report for success stories from cities who made play and the health of their communities a priority.