CONTACT: Jenna McPhee
Boston December 28, 2009 'Tis the season to overindulge. The problem is many Americans no longer limit their excess to the holidays. Obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States; one that can lead to serious health concerns such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 37 percent of adults in Massachusetts are overweight and 22 percent are obese. The epidemic has spread to children as well. The Massachusetts Public Health Association reports that between 25-30 percent of the state's 10-17-year olds are overweight or obese.
Small Changes = Big Differences
Most people know that diet and exercise are keys to maintaining a healthy weight, yet according to the CDC, one-in-five Massachusetts adults reported not having had any physical activity in the past month, and only 28 percent say they eat the five daily servings of fruits and vegetables recommended as part of a nutritious diet.
"What seem like simple choices, like smaller portions at mealtime, or adding more fruits and vegetables to one's diet, can result in powerful changes if you stick with them," says Bryce Williams, Director of Prevention & Wellness at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. "Studies show that losing five to ten percent of your body weight can often make a noticeable difference in lowering blood pressure and helping with other problems."
Weight Loss Tips
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts' (BCBSMA) Prevention and Wellness Program offers the following tips to a healthy lifestyle:
Support Programs & Resources
Trying to lose weight alone is a challenge, but there are many resources available to help people lose weight and stay motivated:
BCBSMA's Prevention and Wellness Program started in January 1995 and provides initiatives to promote preventive health to BCBSMA's nearly 3 million members, 2.5 million in Massachusetts. For more information about Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts's Prevention and Wellness Programs, call 1-800-262-BLUE.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts ( http://www.bluecrossma.com ) was founded more than 70 years ago by a group of community-minded business leaders. Today, headquartered in Boston, BCBSMA provides coverage to more than 3 million members, 2.5 million in Massachusetts. BCBSMA believes in rewarding doctors and hospitals for delivering safe and effective care, and in empowering patients to take more responsibility, become educated health care consumers and become stronger partners with their doctors. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.