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The Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Independence Blue Cross Team Up to Address Childhood Obesity
Date:1/9/2009

375,000 students to benefit from program targeting kids in five-county region

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- An inherent piece of the American dream -- that children have more opportunities and a better life than their parents -- is seriously at risk as the incidence of obesity among children continues to rise, and the current generation of children could become the first in this country's history to have a shorter lifespan than their parents.

To address this growing epidemic, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is now using Health eTools for Schools(R), an award-winning web tool that helps school nurses, teachers, administrators, and parents support the reduction of student obesity by encouraging young people to adopt healthy lifestyles. The program is being provided at no cost through the Archdiocese's health insurer, Independence Blue Cross, which launched the program last year to all public schools in the five-county Philadelphia region.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia currently serves 80,000 students in 182 elementary schools, 20 high schools, and five schools of special education, located throughout Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. The addition of the Archdiocesan schools to the Health eTools program brings the total number of students in the region who will benefit from Health eTools for Schools to nearly 375,000. This includes students in suburban school districts such as North Penn in Montgomery County, Pennsbury in Bucks County, and William Penn in Delaware County.

"In our classrooms, we teach our students that the gift of life and good health is a blessing," said Dr. Richard McCarron, Secretary for Catholic Education for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. "By working with Independence Blue Cross and the Health eTools for Schools program, we can expand this teaching to support our students in maintaining a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercis
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SOURCE Independence Blue Cross
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