Empire BlueCross BlueShield and Claudio Reyna Foundation Host Event to Fight Diabetes Through Education of Preventive Care, Proper Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle

Empire BlueCross BlueShield and Claudio Reyna Foundation Host Event to Fight Diabetes Through Education of Preventive Care, Proper Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle

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On Saturday, October 26, 2013, Empire BlueCross BlueShield, together with the Claudio Reyna Foundation, will host For a Healthy Harlem, an event designed to fight diabetes among at-risk communities by educating children and their families about preventive care, proper nutrition, and living an active lifestyle.

According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, while another 79 million Americans have prediabetes, putting them at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. While these statistics illustrate a stark reality of the growing diabetes epidemic, research consistently shows that moderate weight loss and physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes among those at high-risk. Among ethnic communities, Hispanics and African Americans are disproportionately affected, with Hispanic/Latino Americans 1.7 times and African Americans 1.8 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.

“At Empire, we are committed to reducing the risk of diabetes while improving access to health care in underserved communities through events and programs that encourage preventive screenings and active and healthy lifestyles,” said Brian Griffin, President and CEO of Empire BlueCross BlueShield. “We hope this event will encourage the community to come together and take preventative measures against diabetes by taking part in the activities and educational sessions that will lead them toward a healthier future.”

Happening on the eve of National Diabetes Awareness Month, which occurs in November, the event will consist of physical fitness sessions and soccer drills led by former US National Soccer Team stars Jimmy Conrad and Tab Ramos along with, healthy eating cooking demonstration by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, education stations, clinical screenings and more.

“Events like this one give kids and their families the opportunity to work with positive role models who care about their health and well-being,” said founder and president, Claudio Reyna. “By teaching the family unit about ways to live an active lifestyle we may be able to reduce the incidents of diabetes affecting so many in our community.”

For more information on this event or to register, visit www.forahealthyharlem.com or call (800) 823-7348.

About Empire BlueCross BlueShield

Serving New Yorkers for over 75 years, EmpireBlue Cross BlueShield is the largest health insurer in New York supporting nearly six million members and more than 38,000 business, union and small employers in New York. Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., and Empire BlueCross BlueShield HMO is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc., independent licensees of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State. Additional information about Empire is available at www.empireblue.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinInEmpire, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.

About the Claudio Reyna Foundation

Based in New York and New Jersey, The Claudio Reyna Foundation’s focus is to INSPIRE underserved youth in urban communities with positive experiences through soccer, education and community involvement in hopes of growing healthy bodies, minds and spirits.

The Foundation uses soccer as a tool to help break the cycle of poverty and to fight against childhood obesity. Our programs have become an alternative to gangs and drugs, and give kids the opportunity to work with positive role models who care about their health and education.

Started in 2008 with 68 kids, the Foundation now serves over 2,000 children in the NY/NJ area.

For more information, visit www.claudioreynafoundation.org.

About Marcus Samuelsson

At just 24, he was awarded three-stars from the New York Times as the Executive Chef at Aquavit. The James Beard Foundation named him “Best Chef- New York City” in 2003 and honored him with the “Best International Cookbook” for A Soul of a New Cuisine in 2006. In 2009, he hosted the first state dinner for President Barack Obama as well as raised over 100,000 dollars toward UNICEF’s tap project by winning the Top Chef Master’s competition on Bravo in 2010. He is the owner of Red Rooster Harlem, named the Best Neighborhood Joint by the New York Times, and completed the New York Times Bestseller Yes, Chef in 2012, which won both the IACP award for Best Literary Food Writing and the James Beard Foundation Award for Writing and Literature. Most recently Marcus has joined Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson for Season Two of ABC’s The Taste, mentoring at-home and professional chefs in this culinary competition show.