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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Kicks off Healthy Weight Week with Blues' Employee Pledge to Live a Healthy Lifestyle

The Pursuit of Healthiness begins January 22 on "rid the world of fad diets and gimmicks" day

DETROIT, Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Weight loss, health and wellness resolutions have become the top resolution year after year, with 38 percent of Americans making this commitment each January. As part of the Blues' Healthy Weight Week awareness effort and to demonstrate an attainable way to change behavior and live a healthy lifestyle, David Murray, BCBSM Social Media Manager, and new employee to the Blues, will live what the Blues encourage all Michigan residents to do daily: be an active participant in making Michigan healthier.

As an active member of the Detroit community, David founded the Social Media Club chapter of Detroit and is a member of a local food blog team, The Hungry Dudes. He's been quoted in Wall Street Journal, and has been featured in David Meerman Scott's blog, Web Ink Now; and his book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR.

Starting on January 22, Murray will engage in his own Pursuit of Healthiness by working with a dietitian to develop fitness and nutrition goals, and spend the year working to pursue those goals.

"I'm not necessarily the healthiest person, and I don't pretend to fully understand what healthy living requires, and this could be painful," said Murray. "However, I feel it is important as someone who manages a communication channel for our brand to experience what we are communicating with our members: to live a healthy lifestyle. I'm hopeful people will follow my journey, and maybe join me. If people see someone who works for the brand actually practice what we communicate everyday, people will have the opportunity to get to know us, and like what we do."

Murray will begin with setting a benchmark for his current health status by visiting his doctor for a physical. Next, Murray, in partnership with Registered Dietitian and BCBSM Health Coach Grace Derocha, will develop health and wellness goals for February, March and April. Derocha will determine areas of focus for Murray, and coach him throughout his journey. Murray will post video and blog progress reports on AHealthierMichigan.org throughout the duration of the first three months of the plan.

"It is so important to understand why you are motivated to live healthier," said Derocha. "Think about your motivation, weight loss for a special event or building up your stamina to play with your kids – this motivation should drive realistic, attainable goals. Goals should be set daily, weekly and monthly, and be "SMART" (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and have a time-frame)."

David's journey will be captured on AHealthierMichigan.org/healthymurr, can be followed on BCBSM's Facebook page, as well as on Twitter (@bcbsm and @davemurr), and by following the hashtag #healthymurr. Throughout the campaign, the public will have an opportunity to vote on what meals David should eat, what exercises he will do, what kind of gym clothes he will wear, among other health and wellness related activities. The Blues encourage Michigan residents to share their own personal journey of pursuing healthiness on the aforementioned channels.

BCBSM has remained committed to the health and wellness of Michigan citizens, encouraging all residents to make good decisions, helping to lead Michigan to a healthier future. Yet we still have some work to do. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 66.1% of Michigan adults (age 18 and over) are overweight, with a body mass index of 25 or higher, and 30.9% of adults were obese, with a body mass index of 30 or greater.

The problem continues with Michigan's youth, as the CDC reports 14.2% of Michigan adolescents in grades nine through 12 being overweight, and 11.9% obese. In children ages two to five years, 16.3% were overweight and 13.3% were obese.

The CDC cites numerous health consequences, which are preventable with the right balance of healthy eating and exercise, as a result of obesity: Coronary heart disease; Type 2 diabetes; Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon); Hypertension (high blood pressure); Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides); Stroke; Liver and Gallbladder disease; Sleep apnea and respiratory problems; Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint); Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility).

"Good nutrition and regular exercise are imperative to a healthy lifestyle and prevention of chronic conditions," Derocha added. "Even by decreasing your weight by 5%-10% can prevent certain chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and hypertension."

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com.

SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

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