Blue Cross Knows #MIKidsCan Live a Healthy Lifestyle

by Ashley Hennen

| 1 min read

For over a decade, Michigan has had one of the highest rates of obesity in the nation. One in three children in Michigan are overweight or obese – enough people to fill Ford Field to capacity almost seven times. We all know there are risks associated with obesity. Children and adolescents who are obese are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. They are also at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem. This year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan upped the ante on children’s health with #MIKidsCan – a new campaign focused on encouraging kids to adopt healthy habits early in life that are more likely to be carried into adulthood. Here are some ways that Blue Cross has stepped up to help kids live healthier lives throughout the state:
Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan BCBSM’s Building Healthy Communities program has invested more than $6 million in school-based efforts to engage kids in eating healthier and becoming more physically active. Since 2009, the Building Healthy Communities program has helped over 83,000 Michigan students in 187 schools make healthier diet choices and become more physically active.
Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan Building Healthy Communities also aligns with the Michigan Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan in working with schools and their communities to teach kids healthy habits and address childhood obesity. This year, 32 schools also will receive a breakfast-in-the-classroom grant.
Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan Blue Cross encourages kids to get active and involved in sports in several annual events. This year, kids celebrated an opening day of their own with the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park and the Detroit Pistons hosted over two hundred kids on the court. When kids get active and start healthy habits earlier, they’re more likely to keep those habits in adulthood.
Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s co-sponsorship of the Red Wings Youth Hockey Player of the Game allows selected youth skaters wearing a #MIKidsCan Red Wings jersey the opportunity to skate to the blue line and stand with the team for the national anthem during twenty one home games. The skaters get to keep the jerseys and a souvenir photo, reminding them of the fun they’re able to have when they stay active and healthy.
Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan The University of Michigan kids sports experience, sponsored by BCBSM allows kids to go onto the courts and fields after select soccer, basketball and softball games. There, they can shoot free throws, kick goals or run the bases.
Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan MI Big Green Gym is a program that encourages Michiganders to get outside and adopt a healthier lifestyle through Michigan’s parks. Blue Cross Blue Shield has also partnered with local libraries to offer free state park passes for families, giving seven day access to over 100 different parks around the state.
Photo Credit: Alex Proimos MIChild health insurance is a channel for to children under 19 years old without health insurance to become insured. The premium is only $10 monthly, with no copays, coinsurance, or deductibles—this covers regular medical care check ups, dental and vision care, emergency and urgent care, immunizations, diagnostic tests, maternity care and more.
Photo Credit: Rosie O'Beirne It’s important for children to visit the doctor regularly, even if they’re not sick. Preventive services – like immunizations and flu shots – are designed to avoid and protect health issues. These services are often free for BCBSM and BCN members, as long as your doctor is in-network and the visit is just about preventative care.
  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan provides tips and expertise on for parents looking to help their kids develop healthy habits. This award-winning blog has everything from tips on brushing your baby’s teeth to helping your child prepare for college.
Want to help a kid in your life get on the path to a healthy lifestyle? Check out for upcoming events – like our Kids Contest and Lions Experience Sweepstakes. And don’t forget to follow #MIKidsCan on Twitter!

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MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association