HEALTH

Wal-Mart adds ReliOn diabetes supplies for $9

BY Michael Johnsen

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores on Tuesday announced that it would incorporate its ReliOn diabetes management products into the retailer’s affordable pharmacy program by selling all ReliOn diabetes supplies for $9, the ReliOn Ultima Blood Glucose Meter, a 20-count package of ReliOn Ultima Blood Glucose Test Strips and the ReliOn A1c test.

According to Wal-Mart, a customer with diabetes testing once per day can save more than $200 annually based on the retail price of competing test strips sold at the mass merchant.

“This latest expansion of our health care offering comes from our commitment to help people affected by diabetes save money so they can live better,” stated John Agwunobi, senior vice president and Wal-Mart’s president of its health and wellness division. “We are pleased to introduce $9 ReliOn testing products that address some of the unique health care needs of diabetes patients. By providing affordable, quality solutions we hope to positively impact the lives of the millions already living with the disease.”

Wal-Mart is helping to get the word out on its $9 diabetes supplies through the sponsorship of several American Diabetes Association events, including the recent ADA Diabetes EXPO events in Atlanta, Boston and Tampa.

To date, Wal-Mart’s affordable pharmacy program has saved customers more than $1 billion.

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Survey finds nearly half of Americans have trouble living healthy

BY Michael Johnsen

ADA, Mich. While 93 percent of Americans report attempting to make everyday choices to be healthy and live well, nearly half (47 percent) struggle to do so, according to the Amway Global Wellness Index, a recent national survey of more than 15,000 Americans regarding their health and wellness.

The two main barriers that prevent people from living a healthier lifestyle are lack of time (39 percent) and the rising cost of a balanced diet (21 percent). The top three wellness challenges, according to survey respondents, are getting enough exercise, getting enough sleep and maintaining a well-balanced diet.

Forty-two percent of Americans report that the economy is having a negative impact on their wellness choices, and personal wellness issues will affect the results of the election. In fact, 33 percent of Americans claim that the candidates’ positions on personal wellness will influence how they vote this election. Current economic conditions appear to have a greater impact on the unemployed, with the wellness of 51 percent of non-working parents negatively impacted, versus 43 percent of working parents. According to survey respondents, the health decisions of women are affected more by the economy than men (44 percent versus 40 percent, respectively).

While Americans say getting enough exercise is the most challenging part of living a healthy life (38 percent), only 24 percent believe regular exercise at least three days per week is the most critical aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Getting enough sleep is reported as the second greatest challenge (34 percent), with eating a well-balanced diet (25 percent) coming in third. Four in 10 (43 percent) aged 55 and older claim to struggle with making healthy choices, compared to 48 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds and 50 percent of 35- to 54-year-olds.

Despite a national push to make better wellness choices, Americans are sedentary the survey found. The survey shows more than one in five (23 percent)—or close to 51.7 million people—are not exercising for at least 30 minutes or more at a time on a regular basis.

According to the Amway Global Wellness Index, perception and reality don’t seem to align when it comes to weight. Forty-five percent of Americans consider themselves obese or overweight, yet the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports that an estimated 66 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese (2003-2004 study). Only four percent of people perceive themselves as obese, while in actuality, more than one-third of U.S. adults were obese in 2005/2006, according to the CDC. A higher proportion of American parents (45 percent) report being overweight than do non-parents (34 percent). Further, half of those Americans who feel the economy is having a negative impact on their wellness choices consider themselves obese or overweight.

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Commitment project commences for future children’s health

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition and the Council for Responsible Nutrition last week jointly launched the Commitment project, an initiative designed to encourage brides-to-be to make a vow of health to their future children by taking a daily multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid.

The Commitment project will include outreach to bridal publications and women’s media outlets, including a series of e-postcards, accessible at the web sites of CRN and HMHB.

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