$4.5 million overweight and obesity prevention initiative launched

The N.C. Health & Wellness Trust Fund Commission (HWTFC) and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) launched Fit Together, a long-term, comprehensive statewide overweight and obesity prevention initiative uniting $4.5 million in public and private resources.

Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, Chairperson, HWTFC, and Bob Greczyn, President and CEO of BCBSNC, announced the groundbreaking, three-year initiative at a news conference at the Central YMCA in downtown Raleigh.

The three-year initiative will include a public education campaign, consisting of advertising and other communications to the public and a Web site. It will also highlight successful community programs through a clearinghouse and awards program.

The media campaign and other program initiatives will begin this year. BCBSNC and the Health & Wellness Trust Fund are jointly implementing and funding the initiative. The Centers for Disease Control recently reported that 27 percent of North Carolina’s high school students are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight and more than half of North Carolina adults are overweight or obese.

This alarming statistic underscores the importance of this three-year campaign designed to change health behaviors in the state.

Fit Together will develop and disseminate targeted messages to encourage increased physical activity and healthy eating and promote effective community-based activities and proven approaches.

Fit Together is also aimed at educating individuals that being “fit” doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym everyday. It means being active through activities such as walking the dog, gardening, pushing your child in a baby stroller, mowing the lawn or playing outside.

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