UnitedHealthcare Community Plan is hosting the inaugural “Mississippi River Marathon” Saturday, Feb.9, part of a weekend of health, nutrition and fitness activities aimed at helping people improve their health, well-being and quality of life. Proceeds from the “Mississippi River Marathon” will benefit Teach for America, a nonprofit organization that recruits and trains teachers who are creating lasting change in the lives of Delta students. Through an Expo and news conference kick-off, pasta party, full and half marathon as well as a UnitedHealthcare 1 Mile Community Run and awards ceremony, the weekend of music and events aims to bring together people from across the state – regardless of age, ability or socioeconomic background – to learn how positive change in their lives can put friends, families and entire communities on a path to better health. “UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Mississippi is grateful for the opportunity to host the Mississippi River Marathon and work with community partners to help Teach For America make a difference in the lives of young people in our state,” said Jocelyn Carter, president of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Mississippi. “Tackling obesity in Mississippi requires communities across our state to come together in venues just like this to challenge our way of thinking about health, and encourage our young people and families to engage in fitness as a family,” said U.S. Congressman Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss. “Through partnerships like this with UnitedHealthcare Community Plan and the Mississippi River Marathon, we will help people in our state develop healthy habits that can last a lifetime.” Obesity among children and adolescents has almost tripled since 1980, with nearly one in every three children being overweight or obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Children from low-income and low-education households are three times more likely to suffer from obesity, which is a leading risk factor for diabetes, heart disease and many cancers, according to America’s Health Rankings®, an annual comprehensive assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state basis. According to America’s Health Rankings’ 2012 report, Mississippi ranked 49 th in overall health, tied with Louisiana. More information about the weekend of events can be found at www.msrivermarathon.com. About Teach For AmericaTeach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding individuals of all academic disciplines to commit two years to teach in high need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. Today more than 10,000 corps members are teaching in 46 urban and rural regions across the country, while nearly 28,000 alumni are working across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. About UnitedHealthcareUnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 780,000 physicians and other care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. Click here to subscribe to Mobile Alerts for UnitedHealth Group.