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Capital BlueCross Launches Pediatric Partnership to Combat Childhood Obesity, Curb Rise in Diabetes

Thursday, June 10, 2010 Child Health News J E 4
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HARRISBURG, Pa., June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- In collaboration with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and Blue companies nationwide, Capital BlueCross has launched the Good Health Club Physician Toolkit(SM) -- unique educational materials designed to foster better communication between pediatricians and their patients on childhood obesity and diabetes prevention.  The toolkit will be available to pediatricians in Pennsylvania in time for back-to-school physician visits prior to the 2010-2011 school year.

The toolkit, developed in consultation with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), also builds on materials that Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have successfully used across the country to encourage healthy choices and behaviors for children. The toolkit is available in both English and Spanish and contains tip sheets, wall posters, physician reference materials, tracking sheets, and brochures with educational information.

"It is important for Capital BlueCross to continuously educate our communities about the serious health risks that are brought about by child obesity, namely diabetes," said Bill Lehr, president & CEO of Capital BlueCross. "We recognize that pediatricians are a key component of this process as the earlier children learn about proper diet, exercise and the importance of overall good health, the better chance they have of leading a healthy lifestyle into adulthood."

"As community-based health plans with nearly 80 years of experience in providing health care benefits, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have long pioneered innovative programs at the local level to help address childhood obesity and diabetes," said Scott P. Serota, BCBSA president and CEO.  "The launch of The Good Health Club Physician Toolkit takes the fight against childhood obesity to a new level, by providing pediatricians with essential tools to encourage lifelong healthy living habits for America's youth."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the last two decades type 2 diabetes (formerly known as adult-onset diabetes) has been reported among U.S. children and adolescents with increasing frequency.  One in three U.S. children born in 2000 could develop diabetes during their lifetime and the prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 more than doubled in the past 20 years, going from 6.5 percent in 1980 to 17 percent in 2006.

The Good Health Club Physician Toolkit features messages from the "Good Health Club," a group of animal characters that encourages children to:

  • Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day
  • Limit screen time to two hours or less
  • Get at least one hour of physical activity
  • Limit sweetened drinks to zero

To view the Good Health Club Physician Toolkit please visit www.bcbs.com/goodhealthclub.

Capital BlueCross is committed to improving the health of its communities and in particular, is working to raise awareness of child obesity and diabetes prevention.

During the 2009-10 school year Capital BlueCross partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Health on the Active Schools Program, which is designed to increase daily physical activity for students during the school day. This grant program assessed student fitness at the beginning of the school year, and then again at the end of the year following implementation of evidence-based physical activity programs that call for moderate to vigorous daily exercise.

On June 29 at Capital BlueCross in Harrisburg, company President & CEO Lehr is hosting the "StepOut Corporate Kick-off Breakfast" to promote a diabetes fundraiser walk in Harrisburg scheduled for Oct. 3, 2010. More information about joining a team to walk and help fight diabetes can be found at www.diabetes.org/stepout.

Capital BlueCross is the leading health insurer in its region, providing health insurance coverage to nearly one million people in central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.  Capital BlueCross is committed to making health insurance simple for its customers and members through all the stages of life by offering nationally acclaimed customer service and a full range of innovative benefit programs for groups and individuals at competitive prices.

By establishing a culture of caring, Capital BlueCross constantly strives to do more in order to deliver more for the men, women and children who depend on the company for their health insurance needs. Capital BlueCross has been providing health security to the people and communities of central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley for more than 70 years and employs about 2,000 people in the region.

Headquartered in Harrisburg, Pa., Capital BlueCross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

More information about Capital BlueCross and its subsidiaries can be found by going to www.capbluecross.com.

SOURCE Capital BlueCross

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