New health initiative kicks off in the suburbs

Perhaps you’ve seen the commercials?

The mayors of Bloomington, Edina and Richfield hope to make their communities healthier by teaming up with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. They’ll launch a pilot project today to promote healthy eating and active living. To kick off the initiative, the mayors and representatives from Blue Cross will take a short, noontime walk around Normandale Lake Park in Bloomington. The Blue Cross “do Groove Guy” will also be there.

Officials say the idea behind the project is preventing illnesses caused by unhealthy eating and physical inactivity — combined, these are the second leading cause of death and disease in Minnesota.

Food for thought: two-thirds of Minnesotans are overweight or obese. Health officials say treating obesity related diseases is on track to add nearly $3.7 billion to Minnesota’s annual health care costs by 2020.

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