DETROIT, Jan. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- "Making the play" – something quarterback Matthew Stafford does week after week each season with the Detroit Lions. Something he couldn't accomplish without good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. From carrying groceries, walking the dog or eating fruits and vegetables, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan wants to know how kids, grades 4-8, would make Michigan healthier through its "Make the Play" for a healthier Michigan video contest.
The winning school will get to star as a host of his/her own health eating show on aHealthierMichigan.org, and receive a school assembly with Matthew Stafford. The program was inspired by 10-year-old Marshall Reid, a North Carolina native, who documented his fight against childhood obesity through "Portion Size Me" videos.
The contest starts January 24, with the deadline for submissions at 11:59 p.m. on March 25. In April, 10 semi-finalists will be selected and notified, and their video submission will be posted on ahealthiermichigan.org for a two-week open voting period. The winner will be announced in early May.
Video submissions should answer: "What would you do to make Michigan healthier?" and include how to live a healthy life, starting with the student, their family and/or their classroom and include how to communicate healthy lifestyle choices with families and students. Videos should be no more than two minutes long.
Students can submit a video using any digital recording device using an MP3 format, such as a smart phone, iPad, flip video or webcam, or they can upload a video via YouTube. For more information, please visit AHealthierMichigan.org/kidcontest.
Students, grades 4 through 8, must be enrolled in an accredited public or private learning institution within the state of Michigan to participate. Runners up will receive prize packages.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term effects on health and well-being. Schools play a particularly critical role by establishing a safe and supportive environment with policies and practices that support healthy behaviors. Schools also provide opportunities for students to learn about and practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors.
Immediate health effects:
- Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
- Obese adolescents are more likely to have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels indicate a high risk for development of diabetes.
- Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.
Long-term health effects:
- Children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese as adults and are therefore more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. One study showed that children who became obese as early as age 2 were more likely to be obese as adults.
- Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for many types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, and prostate, as well as multiple myeloma and Hodgkin's lymphoma.
- Healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity, can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases.
- The dietary and physical activity behaviors of children and adolescents are influenced by many sectors of society, including families, communities, schools, child care settings, medical care providers, faith-based institutions, government agencies, the media, and the food and beverage industries and entertainment industries.
- Schools play a particularly critical role by establishing a safe and supportive environment with policies and practices that support healthy behaviors. Schools also provide opportunities for students to learn about and practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors.
The contest adds a new dimension to the Blues' efforts to combat childhood obesity by encouraging kids to share their ideas using creativity and new media. In addition, Blue Cross last week announced that elementary schools can apply for a new round of grant funding from Building Healthy Communities, a partnership with the Michigan Fitness Foundation and Wayne State University's College of Education Center for School Health.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.3 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. BCBSM also offers dental, vision and hearing plans. 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