The capacity for Saturday's workshop, which focused on the problem of childhood obesity, was 25. The number of participants exceeded capacity by seven. The waiting list was about 70.
The next two workshops will examine nutrition and physical activity for children in daycare. Demand for those sessions is just as strong as for the first one, said Amy Stahl, a city spokeswoman who co-chairs Boise's Let's Move! committee.
By participating in the workshops, professional childcare providers can earn continuing education credits required to maintain their licenses. But that only partly explains the popularity, Stahl said. Childcare professionals have come to understand they're major players in the fight against childhood obesity, she said, and they want new ideas for physical activities and healthy food.
"There's obviously a need for this kind of outreach, and the childcare providers were hungry for information," Stahl said.
Let's Move! is a nationwide initiative aimed at combating childhood obesity launched by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2010. Boise has enlisted dozens of partners, including schools, health organizations, city departments, private companies and nonprofits.
The Let's Move! childcare workshop series is co-sponsored by the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health and the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children.
City Councilman T.J. Thomson said promoting healthy, active lifestyles for Boise's children is his "No. 1 priority" in city government. He compared the push to combat obesity to the city's year-old ban on smoking in bars. They're both a matter of shepherding public health, one of the city's core responsibilities, he said.
"Local communities, municipal governments in particular, have to step up and play a major role here if it's not going to happen at the state level, which it's not," Thomson said.
Sven Berg: 377-6275