In Illinois today, 26 percent of all residents, and 35 percent of children age 10 to 17, are obese. For an individual who is obese or overweight there can be a wide range of personal costs, from health problems to social isolation to overall unhappiness. According to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL), the increasing rate of obesity has a real economic impact as well. Among its 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.
MPC’s Roundtable “Alternative Medicine: How Livable Communities Promote Health and Wellness,” sponsored by BCBSIL, examines how having access to housing, work, shopping, healthy food, and safe places to be active within walking or biking distance or by transit, can have a positive impact of our health and wellbeing. The lunchtime panel features representatives of local municipalities, businesses, health care companies, and community-based organizations who are encouraging active lifestyles for their residents and employees.
Adam Becker (moderator), Executive Director, Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children
Dr. Paul Handel, Chief Medical Officer, Health Care Service Corporation
Chris King, President, Robinson Engineering
Bobby Ware, Commissioner, Chicago Dept. of Transportation
Recorded Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at the Metropolitan Planning Council Conference Center.