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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Announces Campaign to Address Childhood Obesity
Date:3/20/2008

Campaign goal is to help Illinois children live healthier lives

CHICAGO, March 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) today announced a new campaign to address childhood obesity in the state. BCBSIL will provide funding to bring together, strengthen, and advance existing programs and organizations that educate children and families about and promote proper nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyles.

Nearly 21 percent of Illinois children are overweight or obese and 18 percent are at risk for overweight, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health's 2003-2004 "Healthy Smiles -- Healthy Growth" survey. Very often, childhood overweight and obesity lead to adult overweight and obesity, which can cause a host of serious health problems ranging from diabetes and heart disease to depression.

"This campaign is part of Blue Cross' commitment to enhance the health and wellness of children in Illinois. Educating and giving children access to fun and motivating programs and activities will help them live healthier and more productive lives." BCBSIL president, Paul Boulis, said. "Given our longstanding history and the depth and breadth of our relationships with community-based organizations, providers, employers, state government, and the public at large, Blue Cross can make an impact on the long term health and wellness of our state with this program."

Moving toward the campaign, BCBSIL has been focusing resources on children's health programs

In 2007, BCBSIL made more than $3.5 million in charitable donations to nearly 350 qualified not-for-profit organizations statewide. A large portion of these dollars were used to support community-based health care and basic human services for the uninsured and underserved. In recent years, BCBSIL also has focused resources on educating and promoting health and wellness through sponsorships and partnerships with health clinics, schoo
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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
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