Prevention is Worth More Than a Pound of Health Care

Normally, grades are not considered to be a life or death issue. There are some report cards that can have serious consequences for many thousands of people.

Let’s just say that there is a lot of room for improvement in North Carolina’s health grades.

The varied 2020 health report cards show a variety of areas that require improvement.

Children’s well-being

North Carolina Institute of Drugs releases an annual report card on the health of children. COVID-19’s negative impact on North Carolina children has become more evident in 2020 and 2021.

COVID-19 makes it easier for households in our state to find their feet. The lack of income, racial inequality and financial disparities were major obstacles to the well-being of our state’s households.

In North Carolina, 4/10 children live in low-income or poor neighborhoods. Nine percent of North Carolina’s children live in areas with high levels of poverty. It means that their families may have a tougher time finding a safe place to reside, putting nutritious food on the table, and gaining access to protected areas to play and learn.

North Carolina’s children also struggle with their mental health at an alarming rate. Nearly 10% of students in highschool have attempted suicide before this year. Major depressive episodes are common.

Tobacco

In a state that has a long tobacco history, it is not surprising that tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death.

According to the American Lung Association’s annual report on tobacco cessation and prevention, North Carolina received a failing grade. Smoking is a major cause of death for more than 14,000 people in the United States.

North Carolina spends $3.81 billion annually on tobacco-related health care. This money is not imaginary. It’s real cash we all pay.

You want to quit smoking? Blue Cross and Blue Protect of North Carolina Members have access to assets. Many Blue Cross NC members can get 24/7 free help with quitting smoking through QuitlineNC. If you are unsure if your insurance plan covers QuitlineNC call the number on the back of your card.

Call 1-844-8NCQuit (1-844-862-7848) at any time or register online at www.quitlinenc.com. You can get help to quit smoking via text, online or by phone. After you stop smoking, your lungs will begin to heal.

Diet

According to the most recent information, only 12.3% of North Carolina adults consume the recommended 5 servings per day of fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, this is not enough to move the other 87.7% up the curve. Our vitamin level has reached an all-time low. There’s no way to improve.

BCBSNC members can access our BlueConnect dashboard, which contains a variety of tools to help improve dietary and overall health.

Diet Services Department of the state offers additional resources about healthy nutrition habits for babies, children and women in their childbearing years. Eat Good, Move Extra NC provides a wealth of information on nutrition and health for North Carolinians.

Weight problems

According to the CDC, 30-35% adults in North Carolina report being overweight. In comparison to other states in the U.S., we rank 19th on weight issues.

Weight problems have financial costs at both the state and national level. Estimated annual health care costs of obesity-related illnesses are more than $190 billion across the country. This amount accounts for more than 20% of the annual medical costs in America.

Weight problems have a huge impact on your health and quality of life.

Our clients’ health goals are our top priority. Visit our BlueConnect dashboard if you haven’t done so already to find out how we can offer our clients discounts on healthy services such as gym memberships.

If you are not a BCBSNC customer, there are many companies that provide free online information about how to achieve and maintain a healthy weight:

  • Weight problems Motion Coalition
  • Weight Problems Assist
  • NC Health Information from the UNC Chapel Hill Well-being Sciences Library
  • North Carolina Alliance of YMCAs
  • The Assist heart-NC

The poor grades should concern us all individually, but there are also serious consequences for us as a group. The cost of health care increases for everyone when the number of unhealthy people outnumbers the healthy. This is a collective effort. Take advantage of all the options you have for health and wellness. We can get a good report card with a little effort.


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