RALEIGH, N.C. — When it comes to obesity, North Carolina is working to shed its heavyweight image.
North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
unveiled the "Fit Together" campaign.
The $4.5 million, 3-year initiative includes a public education campaign and awards program to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
Obesity will not be an easy problem to solve. It is second only to tobacco as a leading cause of preventable diseases in North Carolina.
North Carolina residents pay more than $6 billion a year in healthcare costs due to physical inactivity and nearly $2 billion because of poor eating habits.
When it comes to insurance, the costs are not passed along to just those who are overweight.
"You're adding to the total cost of health insurance. We're really not at that point yet, but it does add tremendously to the cost of insurance," BCBSNC president & CEO Bob Greczyn said.
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, one in four children in the state are overweight and more than half of North Carolina adults are overweight or obese.