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Let' Move Blog

Building Healthier Communities

When we think about childhood obesity, most of us think of kids playing video games or eating sugary, unhealthy food.  Less obvious — but not less important — is the impact a child’s neighborhood has on his or her health – and whether it offers them the opportunities they need to walk, run, and play.  Indeed, children in neighborhoods that lack sidewalks, parks, playgrounds, and community centers have up to 45 percent higher odds of becoming obese or overweight.

The impact of the “built environment” on childhood health is something the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign and the Child Obesity Task Force not only recognize – but have made a top priority.

That’s why over the past week HUD, in partnership with the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency, has announced $170 million in two grant programs to build healthier, more sustainable communities across the country.

By providing the seed money regions and local communities need to better integrate their housing, economic development, and transportation investments, our Sustainable Communities grants will allow communities not only to make their neighborhoods safer and more walkable, with good sidewalks – it will also allow them to plan better so that schools and the park are within walking distance from home.

At HUD we’re proud to join the First Lady and the Childhood Obesity Task Force as a partner in helping our kids lead healthier lives.  Together, we can build sustainable communities that will ensure our children’s choices are no longer limited by the zip code they grow up in.