In 2012 Mayor Mitch Landrieu and City Health Commissioner Dr. Karen DeSalvo unveiled a comprehensive plan that focuses on New Orleans becoming one of the top ten fittest cities in the United States by 2018.

“In order for us to out-educate, out-build and out-innovate the rest of the world, we must prioritize wellness now. Making an impact and improving child wellness requires action on the part of students, parents, school leaders, policy makers, community partners and businesses.”

- Mitch Landrieu

Fit NOLA will focuses on increasing awareness by  providing resources for families and the community to be fit, and empower youth to be advocates for healthy policies. It strives to to improve access to affordable, nutritious food, safe environments for physical activity, and opportunities to exercise.

A few examples of Fit NOLA forums include:

Girls on the Run: Girls on the Run is a positive youth development program for third through fifth grade girls which inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Lessons provide girls with the tools to make positive decisions and to avoid risky behaviors.

Youth Run NOLA: Youth Run NOLA is an after-school, youth development program for middle and high school students in the Greater New Orleans region. The organization is led by adult mentors at school-based chapters and operates on an 8-month school calendar. Running is used as a medium to inspire and prepare students for success on the track, in the classroom and in the community.

Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools: Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools is a group of students in New Orleans who want to rethink and rebuild our schools after Hurricane Katrina. Their vision is a great education for every kid in our city, no matter the color of their skin, what neighborhood they stay in or how much money their parents make.

Early Childhood and Family Learning Foundation: The Early Childhood and Family Learning Foundation focuses its programs on the crucial role of high quality early childhood education in closing the achievement gap between children who are socio-economically challenged and those who are advantaged.

HealthCorps: Co-founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife Lisa, HealthCorps is a proactive movement fighting the obesity and mental resilience crisis by getting American students and communities across the country to take charge of their health.  Dr. Shawn Hayes gave an overview of the methods to assess healthy weight and behaviors.

New Orleans is well on its way to contending for a top ten spot as one of the fittest cities in the United States. Keep up the great work New Orleans!