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Blue Cross Teams up With Eight Groups to Address Obesity, Lower Minnesotans' Health Risks by Promoting Healthy Eating
Date:11/19/2008

EAGAN, Minn., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) announced today it will invest up to $650,000 in additional funds from its tobacco settlement to promote healthier eating and improve health in the state next year. Eight local organizations have been selected to work with Blue Cross over the next few years to help improve eating habits and reduce illness and costs related to poor eating and obesity. They will receive Healthy Eating Minnesota contracts to create grassroots initiatives designed to make it easier for Minnesotans to eat healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables. The contracts are awarded as part of Blue Cross' healthy eating initiative announced earlier this month, which aims to double the number of Minnesotans who eat five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Other components of the healthy eating initiative include an advertising campaign called Every Helping Helps and workplace projects.

Research shows eating more fruits and vegetables provides valuable health benefits. Fruits and vegetables in a diet help protect against heart disease and some cancers, help manage diabetes and weight, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and reduce the likelihood of heart attack or stroke. "Two-thirds of adult Minnesotans are overweight or obese," noted Marc Manley, M.D., vice president and medical director of population health at Blue Cross. "If trends continue unchecked, obesity will add nearly $1 billion to Minnesota's total health care costs by 2010, and $3.7 billion by 2020. By investing in prevention and looking for ways to make it easier to eat healthfully, Minnesota stands to save significant health care dollars, and more importantly, lives."

The following eight Healthy Eating Minnesota recipients will receive contracts in the range of $75,000 to $125,000 for their work on healthy eating:

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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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