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October 25, 2012
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Strategies to improve employee and population health

  Wellness Programs & Trends 
  • Kroger adds to popular walking, weight-loss challenges
    Kroger has started the "I Can Do That Walking Challenge" to encourage employees to use pedometers to record their steps. More than 50,000 workers have lost 126,000 pounds and logged more than 5 billion steps in corporate competitions. The company's wellness initiatives also include an essay contest on healthy activities, with a trip to a fitness boot camp as the grand prize. Supermarket News (10/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Agents can help advise on corporate wellness programs
    Large employers are shifting toward wellness programs to manage health costs, but fewer small and midsize businesses are developing and using wellness programs. Trusted agents are well positioned to advise businesses on implementing health and wellness programs, writes Barbara Stewart, a vice president with Washington National Insurance Co. Agents can help employers see the value of wellness programs and incentives, advise on the basic elements or programs to implement, and guide employers in developing the program. (10/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Lower metabolic syndrome risk is seen with weightlifting
    A study of 5,618 U.S. adults showed that those who lift weights were 37% less likely to develop metabolic syndrome compared with those who do not. Researchers also found that lifting weights was more common in men than in women, and more common among people younger than 50. The findings were published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Yahoo/Asian News International (10/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Mighty Milers program gets students to be more active
    Sneed Elementary School in Houston had more than 1,150 students sign up for the Mighty Milers club, a fitness program that uses walking and running to combat obesity and teach children about goal-setting and success. Started by the New York Road Runners club and funded by proceeds from the New York City Marathon, the program now is in 620 schools in 50 states. USA Today (10/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health News & Research 
  • Signs indicate childhood-obesity declines in some areas
    Cities and states that have implemented changes to school nutrition and other programs to fight obesity are seeing results, which could indicate a reversal of childhood-obesity trends, experts say. James Marks of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says the gains are small, but as a whole, they could signal a turning point in the obesity epidemic. USA Today (10/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Regular green tea consumption is found to reduce cancer risks
    Researchers who analyzed data from a 10-year study of more than 69,000 Chinese women found that older women who regularly drank green tea had a 14% lower risk of developing colon, stomach and throat cancers than did women who didn't consume green tea. The study appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Reuters (10/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • USPSTF says women shouldn't use HRT to prevent chronic disease
    Postmenopausal women should not be prescribed hormone replacement therapy to prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and osteoporosis, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said. Although recent studies revealed that estrogen alone and estrogen plus progestin lower risk of fractures, these treatments increase the likelihood of stroke, blood clots, gallbladder disease and incontinence. The recommendations were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Reuters (10/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Schools & Community 
  • Farm-to-school program offers lessons in seasonal produce
    At least two Kansas school districts will celebrate Farm to School Week by serving lunches made with mostly local food. The menu includes items such as butternut squash, black bean burritos, chicken fajitas and apples. Lindsey Morgan, registered dietitian and district food-service supervisor, said seasonal availability and limited quantities are some challenges schools can face when going local, but she noted: "We have to work with what we get." Lawrence Journal-World (Kansas) (10/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Wellness Industry Developments 
  AHIP News 
  • What are the top technologies transforming health care?
    As we collectively work to provide better care and increase affordability, what new technologies are leading the way? How can you effectively integrate those technologies into your plan’s operations? Find out when you attend AHIP’s Fall Forum, Dec. 3 to 5 in Chicago. Register now. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Save 30% on AHIP courses and publications
    Now is a great time to enhance your health insurance education and work toward a professional designation, because you’ll learn more while spending less. Save 30% between now and Dec. 31 on nearly 40 courses (many online) and publications crafted by top business and health care experts. Visit the website for details. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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--John Archibald Wheeler,
American theoretical physicist

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