BLUE CROSS JOINS GOVERNOR ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER TO ESTABLISH CALIFORNIA AS THE NATION'S 'FITNESS STATE'Written by Steve Pitman
The Blue Cross of California Foundation, charitable giving arm of WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP) in California, today joined Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to launch California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports as part of “Get Active California Celebration” hosted by The Walt Disney Company. The mission of nonprofit Governor’s Council is to promote health benefits of physical fitness, exercise and sports for all Californians. Blue Cross of California Foundation presented Governor’s Council with a two-year grant totaling $300,000.
“As State’s largest health insurer, Blue Cross is committed to helping Californians, particularly children, avoid obesity and its associated conditions,” said Dave Helwig, president & CEO of Blue Cross of California. “We are grateful for this opportunity to work with Governor Schwarzenegger to promote adoption of healthy habits that will lead to a long and active life.”
At today’s event, Governor Schwarzenegger stressed importance of taking steps to address alarming increase in obesity rates, especially among children. He also commended private sector for its participation and support of Council, including generous support from Blue Cross of California Foundation.
As part its commitment to address issues of health care access, affordability and quality, “Blue Cross of California Foundation supports family health through a multi-faceted educational effort to curb child and adolescent obesity, promote physical fitness, and encourage pregnant women not to smoke,” said Cal Lockett, vice president of social responsibility for WellPoint.
Complimentary resources made available by Foundation to all attendees of event included: Healthy Habits for Healthy Kids, a booklet developed with American Dietetic Association to help health care professionals counsel parents and families about proper nutrition and childhood obesity; Healthy Habits for Healthy Hearts, a family guide to heart-healthy living endorsed by American Heart Association that offers tips for whole family on fitness and healthy eating; and California Health Care Options Matrix, an easy-to-read brochure that provides information about free and low-cost health care coverage for individuals, families, and small businesses. The Matrix also includes a toll-free Uninsured Help Line (800-234-1317) to assist uninsured Californians with gaining access to doctors and hospitals through appropriate public or private health care insurance.
Omega 3's... Fish Oil, and DHA... Written by Warren Matthews
Over last year there has been considerable publicity about benefits of Omega 3's. Most of which is true and some of which is not. There is no doubt that Omega 3's can not only help your heart and joints but it will also help your brain. Most people are aware of this, but do benefits of Omega 3's apply across board for all types of Omega 3's? There are now many Companies in world market today trying to capitalize on Omega 3 'boom' with such a wide range of products and so many claims that it is hard for consumer to sift out fact from fiction. The purpose of today's newsletter is to try and concisely as possible give you facts about Omega 3. I will try to explain most important ones by dealing with each of them individually. Important Point # 1 Your prime objective for consuming Omega 3 should be to get DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) into your body. The scientific evidence supporting benefits of DHA is now overwhelming. It is much more important than EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) which is major Omega 3 component of most fish oils.
Important Point # 2
Not all Omega 3's will provide you with DHA and EPA. This is because these essential fatty acids are not present in a lot of Omega 3 products. For example, ground flax seed is an excellent oil for certain uses and contains Omega 3's but does not actually contain any DHA or EPA at all. Instead it contains alpha linolenic acid which your body has to convert to DHA and EPA. In many people, particularly elderly this conversion process is very inefficient. To give you an idea, it is estimated that most adults would have to consume 10 - 40 grams of flaxseed oil to produce just 0.2 grams of DHA. So, if you want to get proven benefits of DHA don't rely on getting your Omega 3's from vegetable oils such as flaxseed. Note: There is however now some products being produced from algae which contain good levels of DHA and do not require body to convert ALA to DHA. But, they are still not readily available and they are expensive. Important Point # 3
The best source of DHA is from fish oil. However, there are some drawbacks with many fish oils: 1. The amount of DHA is low in most fish oils. A typical level is 12% DHA and 18% EPA. The popular 'salmon' oils (which are not really salmon) are usually of 12/18 type. 2. Many oils on market today are from questionable sources and some have high levels of heavy metals or other contaminants such as PCB's. To ensure that you don't ingest these contaminants, either use oils which have been molecularly distilled, or are from impeccable sources with a reliable certificate of analysis. This basically rules out any oil which is processed from fish caught in Northern Hemisphere. 3. Most fish oils are of triglyceride form which does not easily pass through cell membranes. (More on this later) Important Point # 4