Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas 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, and the American Academy of Pediatricians.
Richardson, Texas (Nov. 17, 2009) – In an effort to help reduce childhood obesity and prevent future cases of diabetes, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) 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 2006.1
The pilot program consists of an easy-to-use obesity and diabetes prevention toolkit designed for physicians, that has convenient physician reference materials, as well as educational and behavior changing tools to share with patients and parents. The toolkit, developed in consultation with key stakeholders including the American Diabetes Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), encourages healthy choices and behaviors and will be piloted in collaboration with Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies in Texas, as well as Kansas City, Mississippi, New Mexico, and North Carolina.
“Our objective was to develop a tool kit to support physicians’ efforts to encourage patients and parents to adopt behaviors that improve health and at the same time reduce obesity and prevent diabetes,” says Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, vice president and chief medical officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of 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
- Get at least 1 hour of physical activity, and
- Limit sweetened drinks to (0) zero.
BCBSA and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies 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.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas — the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas — is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 40,000 physicians and 400 hospitals to serve 4 million members in all 254 counties. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is a division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall. HCSC is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.References
1Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Flegal KM. High Body Mass Index for Age Among US Children and Adolescents, 2003-2006. JAMA. 2008;299(20):2401-2405.
For more information contact:
- Margaret Jarvis, (972) 766-7165, Margaret_jarvis@bcbstx.com