By Aleece Smith, MPC research assistant
Thanks to the health care debate, most of us are familiar with the financial woes, social isolation, and high morbidity rates caused by poor health. We know that practicing unhealthy behaviors will likely lead us to one or more of these bleak consequences. Some of us have taken the time to think about the environmental causes of unhealthy behavior. Fewer of us have looked for ways to promote healthful lifestyles throughout our cities and regions.
Join us at MPC’s upcoming Roundtable “Beyond Medicine: How Livable Communities Promote Health and Wellness,” sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, where we will examine how having access to housing, work, shopping, healthy food, and safe places within walking or biking distance or nearby transit, can have a positive effect on our health and well being by encouraging physical activity. The lunchtime panel, on Nov. 3, 2010, in the MPC Conference Center, will feature representatives of local municipalities, businesses, health care companies, and community-based organizations who are encouraging active lifestyles for their residents and employees.
Some stats to whet your appetite: In Illinois today, 26 percent of all residents and 35 percent of children ages 10 to 17 are obese, and many of these individuals experience personal costs, ranging from health problems to social isolation. According to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL), the increasing rate of obesity has a real economic impact as well. Among the health insurance provider’s members, the annual costs to treat type 2 diabetes, a frequent obesity-related illness, have increased more than 30 percent since 2004. Charges for services to treat atherosclerosis, also a condition of obesity, have increased by more than 29 percent. Per person in Illinois, obesity-related medical costs are nearly 10 percent greater than the national average.
The cost of the roundtable, which includes lunch, is $15 for MPC donors and $30 for all others. Seating is limited, so pre-registration is required. Register online today.