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Anthem Sponsors Healthy Kids Day at Maine's YMCAs
Date:4/1/2008

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, supportin
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SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
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