Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico Tackles Childhood Obesity with Launch of Innovative Physician Toolkit
The new pilot program is being launched in five states and was developed in consultation with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, the American Diabetes Association, the American Academy of Pediatricians, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Albuquerque, NM — In an effort to help reduce childhood obesity and prevent future cases of diabetes, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico is participating in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s Pediatric Obesity and Diabetes Prevention Pilot Program.
The prevalence of obesity among children ages 6 to 11 has more than doubled in the past 20 years from 6.5 percent in 1980 to 17 percent in 2006.*
The pilot program consists of an easy-to-use obesity and diabetes prevention toolkit designed for physicians. The kit includes physician reference materials and behavior changing tools to share with patients and their parents. The toolkit was developed with key stakeholders, including the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The pilot project is being conducted in New Mexico, Kansas City, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas.
The toolkit is a compilation of materials that display healthy messages from The Good Health Club, a group of animal characters. The Good Health Club encourages kids to:
- Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day
- Limit screen time to 2 hours or less per day
- Get at least 1 hour of physical activity per day
- Limit sweetened drinks to 0
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans involved in the pilot will collect feedback and findings from physicians through discussion and surveys. Upon conclusion of the pilot, BCBSA will use the findings to create a nationally available toolkit to assist physicians, children, and families in reducing childhood obesity and preventing future cases of diabetes.
* Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Flegal KM. High Body Mass Index for Age Among US Children and Adolescents, 2003-2006. JAMA. 2008;299(20):2401-2405.
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