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Independence Blue Cross Supports Pennsylvania Fitness Program with Grants to 10 Area Schools
Date:12/7/2009

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- One third of school aged kids in Pennsylvania are overweight or obese, and a major reason is lack of physical activity. The U.S. Surgeon General recommends children engage in 60 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week, but estimates show that most children aren't getting enough regular physical activity at school.

As part of its long-standing commitment to improve student health and fitness, Independence Blue Cross (IBC) announces its partnership with the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Education on a new fitness initiative called Active Schools that aims to reduce childhood obesity and increase student exercise.

IBC is providing $10,000 to 10 of the 40 Pennsylvania schools the state has selected to receive grants, for a total contribution of $100,000. The Department of Health will also provide each school with a $5,000 grant through the federal Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant. The schools must use the funding for an activity or program that provides 30 minutes of the federal guidelines of moderate to vigorous daily physical activity. Funding is for the 2009-2010 school year.

"The continued rise in childhood obesity is extremely alarming and I congratulate Pennsylvania's Secretary of Health Everette James for tackling this difficult and potentially dangerous problem in our communities and schools," said Joseph A. Frick, president and chief executive officer of Independence Blue Cross. "By supporting initiatives that teach our children the importance of regular exercise and healthy lifestyle choices, we're making it a lot easier for good habits to be engrained as they grow older and to carry through for the rest of their lives."

"Our district is grateful to the PA Departments of Health and Education and Independence Blue Cross for making this program available to our students, and for recognizing that physical activity is crucial to c
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SOURCE Independence Blue Cross
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