American Heart Association - You’re the Cure
WELCOME! PLEASE LOGIN OR SIGN UP

LoginLogin with Facebook

Remember me Forgot Password

Be the Cure, Join Today!

  • Learn about heart-health issues
  • Meet other likeminded advocates
  • Take action and be heard
SIGN UP

No one in Prince George’s County is more passionate about heart health than Gail Harris-Berry. Since becoming a You’re the Cure advocate in 2012, Gail has worked hard to keep her friends, family, and community informed on how to live a heart healthy life.

Gail has been an active Prince George’s County resident since 1969. She spends her time assisting senior citizens, as well as serving as an ordained minister. Her role as a minister gives her the opportunity to speak with community members and share her amazing story, which you can learn about HERE. As an American Heart Association ambassador, she frequently speaks to local government leaders, and advocates for CPR in Schools and the need for more comprehensive studies of heart disease among women.

Gail believes in being proactive about her heart health. To her, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.

“Because we live so long, it is important to be as healthy as possible, to truly enjoy that time and enjoy the highest quality of life possible. Be proactive in preventing disease; not reactive. The benefits will come.” 

As someone who has experienced heart episodes in the past, she understands better than most how much prevention, such as improved nutrition, can make a difference in improving quality of life and reducing the risk of heart disease. Improving nutrition in Prince George’s County Maryland is particularly important to her because she has so many friends and family, including grandchildren, who live there. As a You’re the Cure advocate, Gail educates her community that better nutrition can reduce obesity, diabetes, and improve heart health.

Gail believes that healthy food options should be available for everyone, including in vending machines.

“Adding nutritious foods to vending machines would give everyone the chance to eat a little better. So many people live with heart disease and obesity, especially in Prince George’s County.  Having better food options would help to prevent diseases down the road and save people from expensive medical bills.”

Gail is an active You’re the Cure advocate in Prince George’s County and the Greater Washington Region and invites anyone who wants to make a difference in reducing heart disease and stroke to join the network at www.yourethecure.org.

 

 

 

<Special thanks to You’re the Cure intern Spencer Davis for development of this blog post>

High blood pressure is called The Silent Killer for a reason.  It has no symptoms, so you may not be aware that it's damaging your arteries, heart and other organs. When left untreated, possible health consequences can include heart disease, heart attack, stroke and congestive heart failure.

But, the sad fact is that too many people have high blood pressure. Currently in Vermont, 31% of adults suffer from high blood pressure. That means 128,688 people! And that number is predicted to climb to more than 174,000 people by 2030 if current obesity trends continue.

That’s why we’re excited by an effort by one of our Vermont partners, the YMCA, to treat high blood pressure. The Y’s Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program helps adults with hypertension to lower and manage their blood pressure. With the help of a Healthy Heart Ambassador, the four month program focuses on regulated home self-monitoring of a person’s blood pressure and the participant is provided with individualized consultations and nutrition education for better blood pressure management.

The program will include nutrition education seminars each month that focus on dietary approaches to reducing hypertension, reducing sodium intake, shopping, cooking and food preparation, and eating for your heart.

A really neat bonus to the program in our area is a 30 day family membership at the Greater Burlington YMCA. Find out more and see if you're eligible by contacting Kristin Magnant at kmagnant@gbymca.org or at (802) 652-8196 .

The following blog post was submitted by LeanBox, a company providing a collection of services that improve workplaces through food and beverage culture. LeanBox has been a partner in our advocacy efforts to pass the “healthy vending” bill, which would require healthy options to be added to vending machines on state-owned property.

===========================================================================================================================================================================================

We believe everyone should have access to nutrition-dense meals at work. Not as just something that’s nice to have, but as a fundamental part of the workplace. At the minimum, you work to provide for yourself and to care for your wellbeing. Not the other way around.

There’s a direct link between what we feed our bodies and our output. Athletes don’t feed themselves junk food because they need to perform at their best. The workplace isn’t any different. For instance, consuming fruit is directly linked to increased levels of dopamine.  And dopamine directly impacts our levels of productivity--it’s the neurotransmitter responsible for spurts of creativity and motivation. By golly, it should be raining fruit everywhere!

The thing is, junk food (stuff high in refined sugars, Trans fat, saturated fat, and salt) is an easy grab--even at work. And the evidence is out in the open. Just walk through a typical workplace break room and scan the space. No signs of yogurt, fruit, or nutrition-dense meals. So LeanBox set out to change that.

Eating heart-healthy food must costly, right? The goal at LeanBox is to make fresh, heart-healthy, grab and go food accessible within steps of your desk.  Whether it’s yogurt, fruit, a vegetable juice, or kale salad, LeanBox follows the American Heart Association’s guidelines on healthy food in the workplace.

 ===========================================================================================================================================================================================

The American Heart Association is working with many partners on the Statewide Healthy Vending Bill, we are fortunate to have LeanBox and other healthy vending companies providing options in the Commonwealth.

An important part of advocacy is knowing the current environment surrounding an issue. Thanks to research conducted by UVM medical students this past year, we have great data to help us in our efforts this summer and fall to promote nutrition standards for kids meals at Vermont restaurants.  

As part of a public health project with the American Heart Association, the students surveyed Vermont restaurants who served kids meals and found that while 80% of restaurants said they offered healthy entrees, 80% also said they offered unhealthy entrees. This makes it more difficult for parents to feed their kids healthy because kids are often going to want to choose the unhealthy option that they perceive as more flavorful. We want to ensure that all entrée options on the kids’ meals menus are healthy to ensure kids can choose a healthy option, help parents and level the playing field because all Vermont restaurants that serve kids meals would be serving healthy meals. 

Another area to work on is that more than 50% of the restaurants still serve soda with their kids’ meals. But the good news is that the survey results showed the restaurant owners largely DISAGREED that their sales would decrease if they changed their beverage options. And most owners agreed that they had access to resources to make the changes easily.

 With some good data behind us, thanks to the UVM medical students, we hope you’ll help us as well in promoting the need for restaurants to make the healthy choice the easy choice on kids’ meals.

[+] More Stories[-] Collapse