Blue Cross anti-obesity ads target parental impact

By focusing on the example that parents set for their children when it comes to eating healthfully in a new set of TV ads, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota hopes to lower healthcare costs related to treating obesity.

The message is needed, Blue Cross says, because almost two-thirds of Minnesotans are overweight or obese, which led to $2.8 billion in medical spending in 2009 in the state. What's more, the insurer predicts obesity-related health costs will grow to more than $5 billion by 2020, reported WCCO.

The new ads are part of the insurer's "Today is the Day" campaign, which provides ideas, tips and suggestions to help people improve their health.

One of the TV spots features a mom who, while grocery shopping with her daughter, fills her cart with chips, ice cream and sugary cereal, only to see that her daughter placed the same food products in her own cart. Another ad shows two kids proudly comparing the amount of fast food their dads can eat and hoping to emulate their fathers' eating habits when they're older. Each ad ends with the message "Today is the day we set a better example for our kids."

These ads are more serious than campaigns Blue Cross has previously promoted, but the insurer hopes to motivate positive behavior. "It was important to start from a good spot and go to the tougher messages because we know some populations really need to take on those tough issues," Zachary Meyer, wellness and prevention vice president for Blue Cross, told KEYC. "We actually anticipate that this one will actually be more motivational and we hope more meaningful."

To learn more:
- read the WCCO article
- see the KEYC article
- check out the Blue Cross "Today is the Day" campaign

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