Chattanooga, Tenn. – BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is launching the Good Health Club Physician ToolkitSM— a unique educational packet designed to foster better communication between pediatricians and family practice physicians and their patients on childhood obesity and diabetes prevention. The toolkit is made available via a collaboration with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

In total more than 1,200 physicians across Tennessee will receive the free toolkit in time for back-to-school physician visits prior to the 2010-2011 school year.

Developed in consultation with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the toolkit also builds on materials that Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have successfully used across the country to encourage healthy choices and behaviors for children. The toolkit is available in both English and Spanish and contains tip sheets, wall posters, physician reference materials, tracking sheets and brochures with educational information.

“We have long advocated the fight against childhood obesity and diabetes in the state of Tennessee,” said Vicky Gregg, president and CEO of BlueCross. “The launch of the Good Health Club Physician Toolkit strengthens that fight by providing physicians with essential tools to encourage lifelong healthy living habits for our state’s youth.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the last two decades type 2 diabetes (formerly known as adult-onset diabetes) has been reported among U.S. children and adolescents with increasing frequency.

One in three U.S. children born in 2000 could develop diabetes during their lifetime and the prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 more than doubled in the past 20 years, going from 6.5 percent in 1980 to 17 percent in 2006. In Tennessee, 36.5 percent of children ages 10 to 17 are considered overweight or obese.

The Good Health Club Physician Toolkit features messages from the “Good Health Club,” a group of animal characters that encourages children to:

• Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day

• Limit daily T.V. or computer screen time to two hours or less

• Get at least one hour of physical activity each day

• Eliminate consumption of sweetened drinks

BlueCross has pioneered childhood health programs such as WalkingWorks for Schools, which teaches children in grades K-5 the benefits of proper exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. Since 2005, the program has encouraged youth and teachers in more than 300 Tennessee schools to walk for better health.

To view the Good Health Club Physician Toolkit, please visit www.bcbs.com/goodhealthclub

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.