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Anthem Sponsors Healthy Kids Day at Maine's YMCAs

Kids and Families Invited to participate in Y Healthy Kids(R) Day Saturday,

April 12th

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine, April 1, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has teamed up with 17 YMCAs throughout Maine to fight childhood obesity and improve the health of Maine children and their families through its statewide sponsorship of the 17th annual YMCA Healthy Kids Day on Saturday, April 12.

"Healthy Kids Day is essentially an open house day full of fun activities to encourage kids and their families who are not regular users of their local Y to come in and have a good time," said Becky Harkema, Executive Director of the Northern York County YMCA in Biddeford. "By introducing them to healthy activities on April 12, we hope they will come back and make using the YMCA and exercise a healthy habit for life."

The lack of regular physical activity and unhealthy eating are the principle reason behind an unprecedented increase in overweight and obese children and young adults in Maine and the U.S. Increased weight is directly linked to an increase in type II diabetes and other chronic diseases. The percentage of young people who are overweight has tripled over the last 25 years in the U.S. In 2005, a panel of experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that school-age children participate in moderate to vigorous activity for a minimum of 60 minutes a day. Studies have shown that children who develop healthy exercise and eating habits while young are more likely to lead healthy lives throughout adulthood.

"Reversing the trend of heavier, less active kids is a critical part of Maine becoming a healthier state," said Mark Ishkanian, spokesperson for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. "And our state's YMCAs are a great resource to help make that happen."

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the statewide sponsor of the Y Healthy Kids Day in Maine on April 12, supporting all 17 YMCAs hosting the event.

Activities taking place that day at individual YMCAs include Dance, Dance Revolution Game, Rock Climbing, Pottery, Youth fitness classes, Moon Bounce House, Open Swim in the YMCA pool, Strongest Dad contest, Relay Races, and the first 500 participants will also receive a 20% off coupon from Olympia Sports for a pair of sneakers. All activities are free, and parents are encouraged to participate in activities with their kids. There will be free Healthy Family Home(TM) "Starter Kits" giveaways (while supplies last) with tips on raising healthy, active kids and will be available free to families online at after April 12.

For more information about YMCA Healthy Kids Day, please call your local YMCA in Maine.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine is an operating subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP). WellPoint's mission is to improve the lives of the people it serves and the health of its communities. WellPoint, Inc. is the largest health benefits company in terms of commercial membership in the United States. Through its nationwide networks, the company delivers a number of leading health benefit solutions through a broad portfolio of integrated health care plans and related services, along with a wide range of specialty products such as life and disability insurance benefits, pharmacy benefit management, dental, vision, behavioral health benefit services, as well as long term care insurance and flexible spending accounts. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, WellPoint is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at

SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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