HEALTH

Olympic-worthy health

BY Michael Johnsen

PASADENA, Calif. — Playmaker Nutrition is looking to knock multivitamin sales out of the ballpark with a new gummy line targeting teens and tweens. Of course, with sports-stars-cum-company-founders backing their play, the gummies may appeal to more than just kids. The all-start lineup includes Summer Olympics gold medalist and NBA star Kevin Love, Winter Olympics gold medalist Lindsey Vonn, Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden and Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.

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Kmart, Sears distribute emergency items, provide loyalty-card points to storm-affected areas

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears and Kmart are offering more than a quarter-million dollars in rewards for members of their loyalty program and sending emergency equipment from 42 distribution centers in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, parent company Sears Holdings said.

The company said it would provide $350 million in rewards to Shop Your Way members in the hardest-hit areas that can be used to buy anything — including groceries, clothes and toiletries — between Saturday and next Thursday, equal to $20 per member. The company also is ramping up stocking of generators, sump pumps, flashlights, batteries and other items that may be needed in areas hit by the storm, with more than 100 truckloads now arriving at stores in affected areas in New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Connecticut, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, Delaware and Vermont.

“The resilience of these communities is once again being tested by Mother Nature,” Sears Holdings SVP and president of marketing, online and financial services Imran Jooma said. “Kmart and Sears are helping residents and the thousands of employees who work in our stores get back on their feet.”

The company also has partnered with nonprofit group Rebuilding Together, which works to preserve affordable homeownership and provide assistance to communities in their rebuilding efforts. 

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Survey: Majority of Americans well aware of diabetes and corresponding risk factors

BY Michael Johnsen

MINNETONKA, Minn. — A majority of Americans recognize the threat diabetes poses to the nation’s health and have a solid understanding about the disease and its consequences, according to a new survey from UnitedHealth Group released Thursday. 

UnitedHealth Group’s national survey, conducted via telephone with more than 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, found that 92% of respondents knew there is a difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and 8-in-10 recognized that Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. As many as 84% are familiar with leading diabetes risk factors including being overweight (80%), a family history of diabetes (76%), lack of exercise (74%), high blood pressure (59%), high cholesterol (58%) and being 45 years or older (48%).

However, 73% believe they will not necessarily get diabetes just because it runs in their family.

“People are taking notice that we face a public health crisis in the form of obesity, prediabetes and diabetes, so the opportunity now exists to turn awareness into actions like eating healthier, increasing physical activity, being tested for risk factors or joining prevention programs,” stated Deneen Vojta, SVP UnitedHealth Group and chief clinical officer of the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance. “Our national conversation around the diabetes epidemic has entered a new era; it’s time national actions do the same.” 

“By 2021, about 40 million American adults will have diabetes, and another 100 million will be diagnosed with prediabetes — at a cost of  $3.5 trillion over the next decade,” added Tom Beauregard, EVP UnitedHealth Group and executive director of the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform and Modernization. “Given these figures, it’s clear there is a diabetes time bomb ticking in America, due in large part to the escalating obesity rates in our country."

The UnitedHealth Group pointed to evidence that early and aggressive intervention can reverse the course of diabetes for people with prediabetes and reduce its impact on people already diagnosed. Lifestyle changes and a 5% to 7% weight reduction can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 58% in people with prediabetes, the insurer noted. 

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