Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Aetna Makes $30,000 Grant to Atlanta Urban League to Support ‘Get Body Beautiful’ Program

(BUSINESS WIRE)--More than 15,000 women in the metro Atlanta area will have a chance to participate in the Atlanta Urban League’s “Get Body Beautiful” program, thanks to a $30,000 grant from Aetna (NYSE: AET) and the Aetna Foundation.

The “Get Body Beautiful” program, which kicked off Nov. 1, is an interactive, multi-media program that includes: on-site community fitness classes at local malls and churches; radio programs; Internet-based tracking; and a dedicated Web site to help women track their progress.

“Get Body Beautiful” is the brainchild of Atlanta’s Andrea Riggs, a national lifestyle and wellness expert. Her company, “Body Beautiful,” a minority- and women-owned firm founded in 1998, helps women of color achieve better health through lifestyle, nutrition and fitness.

“The health disparities that exist in the African-American and Hispanic communities are simply unacceptable,” says Nancy Flake Johnson, president and CEO of the Atlanta Urban League. “Whether you’re talking about heart disease, diabetes, obesity or breast cancer, all of these conditions are preventable with proper nutrition and regular physical activity. The Atlanta Urban League is thankful for the Aetna grant and proud to partner with Andrea Riggs and ‘Body Beautiful’ to bring ‘Get Body Beautiful’ to women of color throughout the metro Atlanta area, because it’s a fun and effective way to learn about nutritious delicious food, shopping and cooking techniques and strategies and to get physically active with other women who care about their health. And Andrea makes it so much fun we know we can help metro Atlanta women to engage in healthier lifestyles for themselves and their families with this program.”

“Body Beautiful” focuses on health and wellness campaigns for corporate and community groups, and produces high-energy, fitness content for TV and distribution. Riggs is a regular on the Atlanta business and social scene, the “Atlanta’s Biggest Loser” trainer on WXIA Alive, and contributes monthly to several national publications. She often trains celebrities and Atlanta’s business executives, all while doing business and building the Body Beautiful and GET LEAN brands with leading corporations and consumers.

“With 78 percent of African American women overweight and at risk for major illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, this program equips women with the lifestyle and fitness tools they need to increase their physical activity and improve their health, feeling and looking good for life,” Riggs said.

“This is a dynamic, upbeat program that empowers African-American women to take control of their lives, improve their health and serve as positive role models for everyone they touch,” said Cynthia Follmer, president of Aetna’s Georgia market. “As a company that shares that passion for promoting wellness and healthy living, Aetna is proud to participate in this effort.”

Aetna provides health benefits to more than 600,000 members in Georgia.

About the Atlanta Urban League

The National Urban League, founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, spearheads our nonprofit, nonpartisan, community-based movement. The heart of the Urban League movement is our professionally staffed Urban League affiliates in over 100 cities in 34 states and the District of Columbia.

Founded in 1920, the Atlanta Urban League was organized to encourage, assist and engage in activities, which lead to the improvement of opportunities for disadvantaged persons and families in Metropolitan Atlanta. The League identifies community needs in education, employment, housing, health and welfare and develops programs and initiatives to meet those needs.

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