BLOOMFIELD, Conn., February 21, 2011 - Cigna and Healthy Kids Challenge, working together since 2004 to fight obesity, today announced the launch of their latest initiative - an online Cigna Mix Six for Healthy Balance Toolkit offering real-life ways for individuals, families and employers to incorporate better health into their daily routines.
Despite all of the dialogue about obesity, some 86 percent of Americans are expected to be overweight or obese by 2030.1 Businesses, individuals and families pay the price not only in higher health care costs but in human terms as well: loss of productivity, a shorter life expectancy due to conditions caused by obesity and poor health in general. The Cigna and Healthy Kids Challenge collaboration is designed to help reverse the obesity trend through online coaching and interactive programs.
"It is critical that we continue to get the message out about the effects that everyday choices have on our health and on overall costs to the health care system," said Patty Caballero, director of sponsorships, Cigna. "This toolkit is a great resource to reinforce this message in a fun and engaging - and hopefully habit-forming - way."
Drawing on Cigna's experience with wellness in the workplace and Healthy Kids Challenge's expertise on children's health, the new collaborative toolkit offers simple, actionable solutions at a variety of levels. The goal is to enable everyone to eat healthier and exercise more both at home and at work. The educational and interactive materials can be adapted in any chronological order, therefore, Mix Six for Healthy Balance:
- Colorful Plates: Diets rich in fruits and vegetables not only keep weight in check but can lower the risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even some cancers. Yet fewer than two in 10 adults - and fewer than one in 10 kids - eat the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Colorful Plates helps users add fruits and vegetables to their diets simply by adding color to their plates.
- Minutes in Motion: Regular physical activity lowers risk for stroke, heart attack, diabetes, and bone fractures and can help people stay mentally sharp as they age. Experts recommend 30 minutes of daily physical activity and agree that most adults are not meeting that goal. Minutes in Motion offers fun activities to help people of all ages get moving.
- Power Breakfast: Parents were right: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast improves concentration, problem-solving ability, mental performance, memory and mood and helps people maintain a healthy weight. Power Breakfast offers easy tips and meal ideas to begin any day the right way.
- Snack Attack: It's estimated that in the U.S., one-quarter of daily calorie intake comes from snacks. An extra 100 sugary calories daily can add up to more than 10 pounds in a year. Snack Attack helps people learn how to make healthy snack choices by planning ahead and understanding which snacks are both nutritionally worthy and tasty.
- Smart Servings: Super-sized meals are not a value when you consider your waistline. Smart Servings helps users recognize eating distractions so that they can better watch what they eat and also shows how to better estimate serving sizes.
- Drink Think: Coffee used to cost a quarter - and came with a quarter of the calories when compared to today's café mochas. Drinks are often an overlooked culprit when it comes to weight control. Drink Think challenges users to assess calories in a particular drink to help them downsize or choose an alternate beverage.
"The new Cigna Mix Six for Healthy Balance Toolkit features up-to-date, relevant and fun information and activities for a variety of ages, in a variety of settings," said Vickie James, RD, LD, executive director, Healthy Kids Challenge. "This latest initiative has been another great opportunity to partner with Cigna to work towards our shared goal of improving health."
About Healthy Kids Challenge
Healthy Kids Challenge (HKC), a nationally recognized non-profit, helps school, community, business and health leaders take action for kids to eat, move, and enjoy a healthy balance. Created by registered dietitians, Healthy Kids Challenge offers solutions through workshops, events, toolkits, a website, newsletters and programming. Six healthy eating and active play practices make teaching and learning simple and fun.
Cigna (NYSE: CI) is a global health service and financial company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. Cigna Corporation's operating subsidiaries in the United States provide an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, as well as group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna offers products and services in over 27 countries and jurisdictions and has approximately 65 million customer relationships throughout the world. All products and services are provided exclusively by such operating subsidiaries and not by Cigna Corporation. To learn more about Cigna, visit www.cigna.com. To sign up for email alerts or an RSS feed of company news, log on to http://www.cigna.com/newsroom/rss. Also, follow us on Twitter at @cigna, visit Cigna's YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/cigna and listen to Cigna's podcast series with healthy tips and information at http://www.cigna.com/podcasts or by searching "Cigna" in iTunes.
1 According to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.