Nutrition-Focused Social Platform Provides Healthy Food Guidance and Cost Savings - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

Nutrition-Focused Social Platform Provides Healthy Food Guidance and Cost Savings

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SOURCE Guiding Stars Licensing Co.

In partnership with Guiding Stars and Wellness Layers, Premera Blue Cross Launches Serve it Up!

PORTLAND, Maine and NEW YORK and MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash., Jan. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In partnership with Guiding Stars and Wellness Layers, Premera Blue Cross has launched Serve it Up!™, a free, nutrition-focused social platform that helps people make healthier food choices at home and in the grocery store by "serving up" the most nutritious options first. The platform offers tools to build and share healthy shopping lists and recipes, coupons to lower food shopping costs and social engagement within the Serve it Up! community. Also available as a free mobile application, Serve it Up! is designed to help users make healthier food choices on the go. The Serve it Up! platform is available for license by other population wellness companies and is designed to complement and integrate with wellness incentive programs. 

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140121/CG49221)

"Premera is committed to creating innovative products that support health and wellness," said Neal Sofian, director of member engagement at Premera Blue Cross. "Serve it Up! is a testament to this commitment as the nutrition-focused, digital platform engages people in their health in ways they wouldn't commonly expect from a health insurance company."

Serve it Up! is equipped with a "smart" shopping list builder that educates users about what foods are healthiest according to Guiding Stars' patented nutrition rating system. The "smart" shopping list database includes nutrition information for more than 100,000 fresh, prepared and pre-packaged food items commonly found in most grocery stores. Each food is rated against proprietary criteria based on the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and other national evidence-based nutrition policies. Coupons are also displayed for foods identified as healthy choices.

"For too long, the importance of nutrition has largely been ignored in the national healthcare discussion, despite the fact that what you eat plays such a large role in your overall health," said John Eldredge, strategy consultant for Guiding Stars. "Premera is a progressive industry leader that is moving nutrition to the forefront of the wellness discussion. Premera's vision paired with the synergy of the Guiding Stars program and Wellness Layers' innovative technology provides consumers with a smart, simple and convenient tool to make more nutritious food choices."

The new platform encourages users to build profiles and connect with the Serve it Up! community. Once connected, users can find, share and rate recipes and shopping lists to make it easier to enjoy healthy foods. Users can also tailor their Serve it Up! member profiles based on dietary preferences, allowing them to receive customized recommendations, participate in community discussions, share advice and garner support based on specific dietary conditions or concerns.

The technology behind Serve it Up! was created by Wellness Layers, the premier developer of socially-rich portal ecosystems and mobile applications for the health and wellness industry. The Wellness Layers platform also powers online portals for several of the nation's leading health and wellness brands.

"We are pleased to build systems such as Serve it Up! that focus on something as universal and imperative as good nutrition. We leveraged our years of expertise to make the experience fun and collaborative and well-suited to serve as a funnel into other wellness management and incentive programs, further promoting improved health and prevention," remarked Amir Kishon, PhD, CEO of Wellness Layers.

About Premera Blue Cross
Premera Blue Cross is a leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest, providing comprehensive health benefits and tailored services to more than 1.4 million people, from individuals to Fortune 100 companies. Premera is committed to providing its members peace of mind about their healthcare coverage. The company offers innovative health and wellness solutions focused on quality outcomes for patients and controlling costs. Premera Blue Cross, which has operated in Washington since 1933, is a not-for-profit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Premera Blue Cross is an HMO and HMO-POS plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Premera Blue Cross is dependent on contract renewal.

Premera Blue Cross is a member of a family of companies based in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., providing health, life, vision, dental, stop-loss, disability, workforce wellness and other related products and services. The family of companies employs approximately 3,000 people and provides healthcare coverage and related services to nearly 1.8 million members. Please visit www.premera.com and www.PremeraNews.com for more information.

About Guiding Stars Licensing Co.
Since 2006, Guiding Stars has been leading the way in helping consumers make nutritious food choices and has received patents in both the U.S. and Canada for its nutrition rating algorithm. The Guiding Stars nutrition guidance program is a simple, easy-to-understand tool for making good nutrition choices and is designed to make a positive and lasting impact on public health. Guiding Stars is currently found in more than 1,800 supermarkets in North America including Hannaford, Food Lion, Sweetbay, Homeland, Marsh, B&R and Mar-Val in the U.S., as well as more than 350 Loblaw, Provigo and Provigo Le Marche stores in Quebec and Ontario. Guiding Stars has also expanded into public schools, colleges and hospitals and appears on the Shopper mobile iPhone application. Additional information can be found at 
www.guidingstars.com.

About Wellness Layers, Inc.
Wellness Layers is a leading provider of online and mobile patient and customer portals creating deeper online engagement for healthier lifestyles. The Wellness Layers platform includes a complete suite of personal health and wellness applications, social functionality and personalized content delivery systems specifically honed for the special needs of health and wellness companies. The deeper engagement achieved with the Wellness Layers Platform supports efforts for prevention, adherence, weight loss, condition management and lifestyle modification. Wellness Layers offers special platform editions for the healthcare, nutrition and diet, fitness, pharmaceutical, employee wellness and healthy lifestyle/e-commerce markets. Additional information can be found at www.wellnesslayers.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Amy Carter
Premera Blue Cross
425-918-3371
amy.carter@premera.com

Maya Pattison
SS|PR
781-894-1739
mpattison@sspr.com

©2012 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.

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