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Shape Up Somerville Featured on WBUR’s ‘Here and Now’

The radio program took a look at Somerville’s efforts to increase physical activity and improve nutrition among its residents.

WBUR’s “Here and Now” radio program took a look Monday at Somerville's efforts to cut down on obesity and live healthier lifestyles.

The show’s host, Robin Young, pointed to the overall transformation that has occurred in Somerville over the past few decades, and said, “Somerville residents are trying to get healthier.”

The radio segment focused on the city’s Shape Up Somerville program, which encourages residents to be more active and eat healthier foods.

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone was Young’s guest.

He said that when he became mayor in 2004, showed him data that 40 percent of Somerville’s kids were obese or at risk of becoming obese.

To combat the problem, the city has done a number of things, including changes the “built environment” to make walking and biking better options for people, the mayor said.

“This is not about losing weight, this is about how we live,” Curtatone said.

The mayor talked about Somerville’s farmers markets, recreational programs and road designs, all of which are meant to encourage healthy lifestyles.

Young mentioned a Tufts University study of 8-year-olds over the past three years, saying Somerville’s kids gained on average a pound less in weight than kids in neighboring communities.

She said First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign has been based on Somerville’s efforts.

“Boy, Somerville has come a long way,” the radio host said.

The radio segment comes after a similar article in the Boston Globe, published earlier this month. 

Here’s a brief description of the segment from WBUR’s website.

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