Independence Blue Cross, community groups launch effort to tackle childhood obesity

The Independence Blue Cross Foundation along with community organizations has launched the Healthy Futures Initiative to fight childhood obesity.

Officials gathered Thursday to make the announcement at the People for People Charter School in Philadelphia where they’ve served freshly made, nutritious lunches for almost a year.

The $1.8 million effort will expand similar programs to five more schools.

Blue Cross President Dan Hilferty says childhood obesity is a particularly big problem in Philadelphia.

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“It’s our goal to help children learn and their families learn how to focus on their eating habits, how to get more active and, frankly, how to keep on top of their well visits so that they can maintain and healthy lifestyle and be healthy for the rest of their lives,” he said.

The Vetri Foundation will provide fresh, nutritious school lunches through its “Eatiquette” program.

The Philadelphia Union Foundation will bring soccer-related activities and exercise education to students.

Lastly, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will focus on the health-care aspects.

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