Despite the fact that health care reform has been at the forefront of the news for months, the reality is that these are tough economic times and health care is often one of the areas to suffer when money gets tight. This is especially true for preventative health care. After all, if you’re not sick, why spend money you don’t have on preventative screening? Of course, we all know that preventative screening, particularly for your heart, is not only important but can identify a potential health issue before it becomes a health crisis. Still, if you’re unemployed, underpaid, or just don’t have enough money to go around at the end of the month (a fact to which most of us can relate), it’s easy to understand why health care and preventative screenings may be pushed to the bottom of the list.
What do you do when you need health care screenings but can’t afford them? Answering that question has been my theme this month. If you need a heart screen, where can you go to get affordable heart screenings when the money in your personal budget isn’t going to be forthcoming? One of the resources that may be worth checking out is the Kellogg’s Healthy Beginnings program.
With the rise in the concept of corporate social responsibility, many corporations are sponsoring programs and reaching out to improve the lives of those who live in their community. The Healthy Beginnings program is one such program. Healthy Beginnings is a first-of-a-kind partnership between Kellogg over 70 grocery retailers. The program focuses on health education (how to improve your health), diet (role and importance of whole grains), and health screenings and assessments (focused on weight, heart, and digestive health).
Participating grocers offer consumers a free health care screening at the grocery store. The screening includes preventative tests and assessments such as: cholesterol check, heart health assessment, Body Mass Index (BMI) screening, blood pressure check, and fiber intake. Consumers also receive education materials they can take with them regarding health assessment, the “food ruler” (which helps consumers follow the Food Pyramid guidelines), and, of course, coupon for products in the Kellogg Healthy Beginnings brand. (The Healthy Beginnings brand is the Kellogg line that is geared toward heart health, digestive health and weight management by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and supplying dietary whole grains.)
This particular program is nation-wide and has the free screenings provided hit a number of the heart health risks (BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol). Preventative care and identifying a problem early can often impact the later quality of life. If you need screening and can’t afford it, then this program may be a resource that can help you get the screening you need and identify a problem earlier rather than later.
One-of-a-Kind Partnership Between Kellogg and Leading Retailers Goes Nationwide, 2009, Kellogg, http://kelloggs.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=107
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