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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana Teams up with Bob Harper from 'The Biggest Loser' To Expand Efforts Aimed at Improving Individuals' Health
Date:6/29/2009

Individuals can calculate their Health Footprint to determine the impact their behaviors have on others

INDIANAPOLIS, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The carbon footprint has become part of daily life for many people, but did you know that everyone has a Health Footprint(SM) too? Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana today announced it has teamed up with Bob Harper from "The Biggest Loser" to expand current efforts to provide the tools and information necessary to help individuals improve their health and be a positive influence on the ones they care about.

Anthem has developed an innovative tool, the Health Footprint calculator, to help members determine the impact their behaviors have on their health and on the health of their social network. Unlike a carbon footprint, which focuses on reduction, the bigger a Health Footprint is the more health influence someone has on those around them. Anthem and Bob Harper will work together to highlight how our health connects us and how one person's healthy behaviors can positively affect someone else's health behaviors.

"Anthem is pleased to work with Bob Harper to create a movement that starts with each individual and extends to their friends, family and coworkers," said Robert W. Hillman, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana. "Bob Harper's approach to wellness is based on the powerful insight that healthy living isn't about a quick fix, it's about making a lifestyle change. We recognize that our health is connected. We want to help people get healthy, stay healthy and have a healthy impact on the health care system itself."

"Whether we realize it or not, when we are around others who eat healthy and model healthy behaviors, we begin to follow," said Bob Harper. "Expanding this into a more formal, conscious effort can help each of us become role models for others in our lives. For any person who's ever tried to quit smoking, lose weight, eat healthier or adopt a more active lifestyle, knowing you will also have an impact on others can be a powerful motivator. By working together with Anthem, we hope to provide the information and tools to help members live healthy lives."

According to a recent report released by the WellPoint Institute of Health Care Knowledge, an individual's health choices directly influence the health and well being of family members, friends and others in his or her social network. The report looked at two specific studies by Harvard's Nicholas Christakis, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. and UCSD's James Fowler, Ph.D. about communities in which individuals with close ties demonstrated significant corollaries with obesity and smoking cessation. The studies cited in the report show that a person's:

  • Likelihood to quit smoking increased by 67 percent if her or his spouse quit smoking; 36 percent if a friend quit smoking; 24 percent if a coworker quit smoking; and 25 percent if a sibling quit smoking.
  • Chance of becoming obese increased by 57 percent if that person's close friend became obese. Further, a person's chance of becoming obese rose by 71 percent if a close friend of the same-sex became obese; 40 percent if an adult sibling became obese; and 37 percent if his or her spouse became obese.

By answering a few simple questions, individuals can calculate the impact of their health choices with the Health Footprint tools at www.anthem.com/connects. Individuals can also receive tips from Bob on how to live healthier.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. (R) ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana is available at www.anthem.com.


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SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana
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