Bill Clinton and the AHA Tackle Childhood Obesity

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

For the first time in recent history, children may have shorter lifespans than their parents. The reason: Childhood obesity.

With more than 30 percent of U.S. children overweight or obese, a first-of-its-kind childhood obesity initiative was recently unveiled — a critical step in the nation’s battle against this epidemic. The premise: Participating insurance companies will pay for a minimum of four dietitian and physician visits per year, to give parents and children direction and guidance on eating well and reducing and controlling weight. Companies signed on for the initiative include BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, BlueCross BlueShield of Massachusetts, Aetna and WellPoint, and companies like PepsiCo are
now offering the benefit to their employees. The American Academy of Pediatrics along with the American Dietetic Association have both signed on to help monitor the program.

This joint effort from the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation — known collectively as the Alliance for a Healthier Generation — noted that such an initiative will give children better access to the healthcare they need to fight childhood obesity. The initiative is expected to serve an estimated 1 million children in its first year and over 6 million children in three years.

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