Challenge Issued to Make Healthy Resolutions

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Excellus BlueCross BlueShield challenges everyone to make and keep healthy New Year’s resolutions and offers free online tools to help everyone stick to his or her plan. For members enrolled in HealthyBlue®, Excellus BCBS also offers financial incentives.

“Unless there is a significant change in our nation’s attitude and behavior toward nutrition and exercise, the devastating human toll and massive drain on health care resources resulting from poor lifestyle choices will only get worse,” said Dr. Arthur Vercillo, regional president, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

The need for Central New York adults to make and keep healthy resolutions was revealed in a series of fact sheets on various health-related topics recently issued by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. Among the facts:
• 62 percent of Central New York adults are overweight or obese.
• 21 percent smoke.
• 24 percent have hypertension.
• 7 percent have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
• 43 percent who have been screened have been diagnosed with high blood cholesterol.

The Lewin Group, a respected consulting firm, looked at peer-reviewed research, including studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, and found the potential savings to the health care system from eliminating unhealthy behavior to be about $408 billion per year, or 17 percent of national health expenditures.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has a suite of free online tools to help everyone keep his or her healthy New Year’s resolutions. It’s part of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Step Up initiative, found under Health & Wellness in the visitor’s section of The free Web suite includes:
• Tools to help set goals, track progress, and record daily steps and servings.
• Access to fitness and nutrition calculators to help determine caloric needs, ideal body weight and much more.
• Access to a library of fitness and nutrition articles.
• Tips on eating smarter.
• Delicious, nutritious recipes.
• Links to other helpful resources.

Since Excellus BlueCross BlueShield launched Step Up in 2004, users from across upstate New York have logged more than 8 billion steps or about 4 million miles.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield members with HealthyBlue coverage have financial incentives to adopt healthy behaviors. Since HealthyBlue was introduced in 2008, members have earned more than $2 million in cash and HealthyRewards® for doing things like scheduling regular checkups, eating right, being active and living healthier.

“We want to do all we can to support people who are active and take steps toward a healthier lifestyle,” said Vercillo, adding, “We hope everyone in Central New York accepts our challenge to make and keep healthy resolutions in the New Year.”