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HealthMedia Launches First-Ever Binge Eating Campaign and Intervention to Take on Nation's Top Eating Disorder

Monday, July 21, 2008 General News J E 4
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ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 21 HealthMedia, Inc., the pioneerin applying advanced technology to emulate a health coaching session via theweb - without the coach - for wellness, disease management, behavioral health,and medication adherence, is launching HealthMedia(R) Overcoming(TM) BingeEating. This revolutionary new program is the first solution of its kind thataddresses America's top eating disorder and its growing impact on healthcarecosts and productivity. The highly effective, evidence-based program emulatesthe experience of an around-the-clock health coach, nutritionist, andpsychologist working together via the web to help individuals suffering fromBinge Eating Disorder (BED) regain control of their eating and emotions.

Just as a psychologist would do, Overcoming Binge Eating connects witheach individual, and gathers detailed information such as distinct eatingtriggers, motivation, self confidence, stage of change, and barriers tochange. Then, using HealthMedia's Fusion(TM) technology, Overcoming BingeEating creates a personalized, highly tailored program to help individualscontrol their eating and enjoy a higher quality of life.

An untailored version of the program is being used successfully bytreatment centers and individuals throughout the world, and has been proven toreduce frequency of compulsive overeating by 40 percent, and significantlyreduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Highmark Inc. and other healthplans and employers are recognizing and responding to the need to addressbinge eating, and are offering the newly enhanced and tailored binge eatingprogram to their members and employees over the next few months.

"Highmark has long been at the forefront of leading initiatives aimed atfighting obesity in children and adults. We are very pleased that HealthMediahas developed an online program to address binge eating," said Donald R.Fischer, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Highmark Inc."Because of the secrecy associated with this disorder, individuals often donot readily seek treatment. The confidential, non-threatening approach ofOvercoming Binge Eating makes this online tool a valuable addition to thetreatment of this complex problem. Highmark plans to offer this program to ouremployees and members."

"Like insomnia, binge eating is one of those issues that affectproductivity and a range of medical outcomes, particularly when binge eatingis co-morbid with chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease," saidTed Dacko, HealthMedia President and CEO. "Binge eating interventions fill acritical gap in health and wellness, disease management, and behavioralhealth, and should be an integral part of any weight management or obesityprogram."

"Researchers now believe that like other eating disorders, there arepsychiatric reasons for binge eating and it all feeds into an obesity epidemicthat seems to start in childhood," said NBC reporter Tom Costello, on a recentepisode of the Today show. The effects and severity of BED were also echoedby Costello in a recent NBC News segment(http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-us&vid=d97b6451-60f5-41db-be4f-e8cf48cd343f). (Due to the length of the URL, please copy and paste into yourbrowser.)

This program is just one part of HealthMedia's national campaign to callattention to binge eating. In the U.S. alone, BED is estimated to beresponsible for $33 million in lost productivity and medical expensesannually. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last weekthat more than a quarter of Americans are now obese - up nearly two percentbetween 2005 and 2007. Up to 25% of obese individuals suffer from Binge EatingDisorder. "Most organizations have a weight management program, but they aremissing the binge eating component, which is why we built this program," addedDacko. "By adding this revolutionary product to the MyHealthMedia suite, we
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