Boston Mayor Launches Million-Pound March

During his State of the City speech in January, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino noted that half of Bostonians are overweight, and said: “Look, weight is an issue that many of us struggle with. But what is daunting on our own becomes doable when we work together. So my goal is to see all of us combine to shed a million pounds this year.” After the speech, WBUR’s Delores Handy reported, Menino pledged personally to lose at least two pounds a month for the next year.

Well, now it’s official, at least the million-pound part. From the press release:

Today, Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, launched Boston Moves for Health, an ambitious campaign to improve the health and fitness of the city of Boston. Making the announcement from Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mayor Menino challenged Bostonians to collectively lose one million pounds and walk 10 million miles as part of the initiative.

Joined by the campaign’s lead sponsors Blue Cross Blue Shield, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and Partners HealthCare, the Mayor unveiled www.BostonMovesForHealth.org. This free online resource allows participants to set health goals, record their individual progress, find community resources to help keep them on track, connect with friends and neighbors to share tips and workout routines, and view the city’s progress toward meeting the challenge goals.


The Boston Globe’s Kay Lazar reports on the city effort here, and columnist Yvonne Abraham looks at how hard it can be for urban families to live healthier.

Kay’s story ends with top Boston officials pledging to do their part. Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, says she aims to get in five to seven miles a week at Franklin Park, “And drag my husband.”

And the mayor?

“My goal is to do some personal exercise four days a week,’’ Menino said.

Then he added: “I want to see youngsters standing at a bus stop not eating Doritos. I want them eating apples.’’

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