HEALTH

GNC wins with motivational and interactive photo, video contest ‘Me on GNC’

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH — GNC on Wednesday identified the winners of the company’s "Me on GNC" photo and video contest. The three top winners in each category, whose stories can be seen on the ME ON GNC Contest web page, will share $100,000 in prizes. 

"At GNC, we believe in the power of the individual in reaching their own goals, whether that’s losing weight, training or maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle," Tom Dowd, GNC EVP, chief merchandising officer and general manager, said. "The winners exemplify what’s possible when you commit to wellness."

Callista Puchmeyer of Westlake, Ohio, who won the photo contest, says that she and her husband lost more than 200 pounds together after deciding to get fit for their children. "We start[ed] exercising in December of 2011 and never looked back," Puchmeyer said. "We have run half marathons, a marathon, and multiple races. We have slowly evolved over the last year and a half and now eat clean and make fitness and health a priority. Our main motivators are our three beautiful children. We wanted to be great role models. Through all of this, GNC helped us with all of our supplement needs."

Michael Johnson of Los Altos Hills, Calif., winner of the video contest, reported he had cystic fibrosis, but that doesn’t stop him from being as fit as he can be. "[Cystic Fibrosis] says that I can’t be an athlete. It says I’ll die young. I don’t listen; I define myself," he said. "Through hard work and dedication I have overcome the expectations of my condition. I run, swim, bike, jump rope, lift weights, play basketball — I do anything that challenges me. As a result, my lung capacity is 20% better than a healthy person’s lung capacity. I am an athlete. Thank you, GNC."

GNC’s "Respect Yourself" multi-media branding campaign, "Me on GNC" celebrates individuals who enjoy great self-respect by living a healthy lifestyle. The "Respect Yourself" message drives to the essence of what is the most powerful result when you make the choice to take care of your health and celebrate your own success in health, fitness and overall wellness.

 

 

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Survey: HSA participants are more engaged in managing their health

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Employees who contribute to health savings accounts generally become more engaged in managing their health after enrolling, according to a survey conducted by Buck Consultants, a Xerox Company.

For example, 51% of respondents set aside more money for potential medical costs than before they had HSAs. As many as 29% have more discussions with their doctors about the cost of care and 13% more actively manage their chronic disease.

“In fact, respondents indicated greater engagement with each of 11 health management activities measured,” said Travis Klavohn, director, Consumer Health Solutions, BenefitWallet, a Xerox Solution. “Remarkably, these results are consistent across our three surveys conducted over a five-year period.”

HSA members are responsible for a greater portion of their health costs, so they expect tools to help them make informed, rational decisions. When ranking important HSA product features, 44% of respondents ranked the ability to view claims on the HSA site as most important. They ranked paying medical claims on the HSA member portal second at 35%.

“HSA members are making wiser health care decisions,” Klavohn said. “They are evaluating costs more closely before receiving care, shopping for lower priced drugs and choosing less costly services. They attribute their changed behavior to owning an HSA.”

The BenefitWallet: 2013 Member Survey Report found that the vast majority (90%) of HSA members obtain medical coverage through their employer. And more employers are contributing to HSAs (75%).

The survey, which polled more than 23,000 members of BenefitWallet, identifies behaviors, opinions and demographics of individuals who own HSAs.

 

 

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Walgreens: Flu disrupted vacation plans for 11 million Americans in 2012

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — More than 11 million Americans had vacation plans disrupted by the flu in 2012, according to Walgreens’ recent Impact Survey, the company announced Tuesday.   

"It is important to remember that the vaccine doesn’t just protect the person getting a flu shot, it helps to protect friends, family, co-workers and others with whom they’re coming in contact," said Harry Leider, Walgreens chief medical officer. "This time of year, germs and viruses can easily spread as people travel, gather for the holidays and enjoy other seasonal community activities. Last year we saw the widespread effect this can have for those who maybe didn’t take the proper preventive measures." 

The Walgreens Flu Impact Report found that last year’s severe flu season significantly impacted holiday events in general, with 17 million of them cancelled or interrupted, based on survey projections. The 2012-2013 flu season was one of the most severe in the United States in more than a decade and, according to the study, had three times the impact than a more typical flu season on travel and holiday plans.

The Flu Impact Survey was conducted online within the United States by USamp on behalf of Walgreens from Aug. 27 to Sept. 4, 2013, among 1,200 nationally representative adults ages 18 years and older.

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