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Fit Together
Linking North Carolinians to tools for healthier weight and lifestyles.

The dramatic increase in obesity in NC and across the country has serious health implications. Obesity has been linked to chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and several types of cancer. It is estimated that obesity-related medical expenses in North Carolina add up to more than $2.1 billion, with just over half of that coming at the expense of state taxpayers via Medicare and Medicaid. Killing nearly 300,000 people last year, unhealthy weight is positioned to overtake tobacco as the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.

Increased physical activity and healthier food choices are considered essential elements in preventing obesity and maintaining good health. To promote these cornerstone principles, the NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund (HWTF) has joined with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) to launch Fit Together - a statewide campaign designed to raise awareness around the dangers of unhealthy weight and more importantly equip individuals, families and communities with the tools they need to address this very serious health concern.

Through a content-rich website (www.fittogethernc.org) and a television campaign, Fit Together will help individuals and communities assess their health risk and equip them with the tools needed to get healthier. Tools such as web-based personal health assessment will direct you to local resources in your own community. You can also learn about the status of physical education and nutrition policies in your local schools, and see real examples of NC communities that have made significant changes in their schools, worksites or neighborhoods that led to things such as daily PE for kids, lower insurance premiums for employers, or more sidewalks and greenways in neighborhoods.

Further, the HWTF has established 20 community-based and statewide obesity prevention programs that will receive guidance and training from public health experts at Duke University Medical Center. Valuable lessons learned from these real-world laboratories will be captured by experts from ECU’s Brody School of Medicine and converted into “best practices” that can provide practical guidance for civic, school and business leaders across North Carolina who are motivated to improve the health of their communities. These and many other model programs will be featured in the Fit Together campaign and on the website.

There is no quick or easy fix for obesity in NC. We must all work together…to involve individuals, families, schools, business and industry, faith-based organizations, local municipalities, and many others. Obesity is preventable, but it requires everyone working to Fit Together.

  
 

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