American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

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Did you know: Congestive Heart Failure

Did you know: the number of Americans diagnosed with heart failure is expected to increase by nearly 40 percent during the next 15 years and the costs of managing the illness will almost double, according to a new report from the American Heart Association released last Tuesday.

Congestive heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. It’s one of the most common heart diseases in the U.S., with more than 870,000 new cases reported annually. There are ways to manage and treat heart failure, but about half of all people die within five years of being diagnosed.

To learn more about CHF, click here.

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Lots of Support for Vermont Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Summit

Organizations across Vermont gathered on September 25th for a Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Summit to pledge to ensure that Vermont kids have access to healthy eating and physical activity in early care and afterschool programs.

Organizations including the YMCA, Vermont Afterschool, Vermont Department of Health, Vermont Department of Children and Families, Vermont Birth to Five, Building Bright Futures, Hunger Free Vermont, Vermont Association for health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and many more spent the day planning how best to share their commitment to building a healthier present and future for Vermont’s children by creating environments rich in opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity.

Research shows that children’s proper brain development, lifelong ability to learn, and physical and mental health, depend upon daily access to quality nutrition and physical activity.

Keynote speaker Jessica Donze Black, a child nutrition expert with the Pew Charitable Trusts, encouraged organizations to do all they could to get kids starting healthy habits early, noting that the weight of a child at age 4 is predictive of the weight of that child over his/her lifetime.

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How Can NH Graduates Be CPR Smart?

There are now 27 states that require students receive training on how to properly administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation!  Many high schools in NH teach students CPR, but not ALL students are receiving hands-on training in schools across the state. The AHA wants New Hampshire to adopt the requirement that all students graduate high schools having been trained in CPR. When we do, Granite-staters will have ever-increasing odds that someone nearby will be able to respond with this life-saving skill. This school-year our decision-makers, from legislators down to local school boards, need to hear from advocates like you that CPR taught in schools will result in thousands of new lifesavers in our communities every year. Please join the movement by visiting to learn more about the American Heart Association’s CPR in Schools program.

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Payton Jones is Helping Other Kids Get a Healthy Start

There’s more to Payton Jones than meets the eye! This vibrant 14 year old is a survivor. After suffering a cardiac arrest at a swim meet three years ago as a result of an undiagnosed rare disease, Payton has been committed to helping fight heart disease.

She has formed a walk team and walked each year since her event in the American Heart Walk to help raise funds for life saving research.

Now, she’s joining forces with the AHA again to help kids get an early start on being healthy by helping us ensure that restaurants meet nutrition standards in their kids meals and eliminate sugary drinks from kids meals.

Come visit Payton at the advocacy table at our American Heart Walk at Oakledge Park on Flynn Avenue in Burlington from 8:30-11:30am on Saturday, September 26th and sign a petition urging state leaders to require nutrition standards for restaurant meals that are marketed to kids.

For more information on the walk go to:

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Help Kids Be Healthy for Years to Come!

Obesity has tripled among children and adolescents in the last 30 years.  It’s time to act! Establishing strong obesity prevention programs in child care settings is a great place to start.

The Vermont Child Development Division is currently updating its licensing regulations for child care centers across Vermont and is seeking public comment from Vermonters on its proposed regulations. We need to ensure that strong nutrition, physical activity and screen time standards are included.

Take a minute now and click on the following link for a letter you can print and send in as your comment supporting the American Heart Association’s recommendations for the child care setting.

Your support can make a difference!  Because children develop food preferences within the first years of life, exposing them to healthy diets early can have an immediate benefit but also reduce chronic disease risk for years to come if these healthy habits are continued into adulthood. The same holds true for physical activity.

The AHA is recommending the child care regulations follow the nutrition standards set by the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program and the physical activity and screen time standards set by YMCA’s Healthy Eating Physical Activity Standards. Lend your voice of support today for a healthier generation of kids!

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Health Challenge for Minnesota Families Starts in September

The Minnesota News Connection posted an article today on the Life Is Why Family Health Challenge!

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The number of children who are overweight or obese in Minnesota has been swelling for decades, but a month-long event starting Tuesday aims to gain some traction in reversing that trend.

The Life is Why Family Health Challenge is broken down into four themed weeks. American Heart Association volunteer Carrie McLeod says the first component is focused on the foods people buy at the grocery store and is called My Cart is Why.

"Which helps your family to understand the importance of fruits and vegetables and has some fun, easy activities for the children to take part it," she explains. "So that it can really be a fun thing and not an 'Oh, gosh, you have to eat your broccoli' kind of thing." Continue reading here

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Jane Kolodinsky, Vermont's New Advocacy Committee Chair

A long-time advocate for a sugary drink excise tax in Vermont will now chair the American Heart Association’s Vermont Advocacy Committee and help promote nutrition standards and the removal of sugary drinks in restaurants kids’ meals.

Professor Jane Kolodinsky is also the chair of the University of Vermont’s Department of Community Development and Applied Economics.  Addressing the AHA’s goal of setting nutrition standards in restaurant kids’ meals makes sense to her as it’s a topic she is familiar with.

Jane is a co-author of a chapter entitled, Childhood Obesity, Food Choice and Market Influence” in the book “Global Perspectives on Childhood Obesity.” One of the findings discussed in the publication is that the number of kids eating at fast food restaurants has increased over time.  Fast food restaurants are so popular that adolescents tend to eat at them twice a week and, on a typical day, 30% of youth aged 4-19 consume fast food.

Jane notes that with fast food being higher in fat and energy, children get a disproportionate number of their recommended daily calories at these establishments. Improving the nutrition of all restaurant kids meals will be an important step as dietary patterns are formed early in life.

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Minnesota Finds "Grocery Gap" in Access to Healthy Food

An article posted today from Bring Me The News surveys Minnesotans on access to healthy foods! Check it out!

An increasing number of Minnesotans believe that not everyone has access to healthy food options, with the lack of grocery stores in greater Minnesota playing a factor in what people choose to eat, a survey released Monday shows.

The Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota highlighted the "grocery gap" (also called food deserts) in Minnesota, noting more than one-third of those surveyed must travel at least 10 minutes to shop at a full-service grocery store – and that includes a proportionate number of senior citizens and lower-income families, who may also be struggling with reliable transportation to get to the grocery store.

For those who live outside the Twin Cities, the drive to the grocery store increases. In greater Minnesota, 40 percent of people reported traveling more than 10 minutes to shop at a full-service grocery store. Meanwhile, many in more rural areas say the trip to buy food is more than 30 minutes, the survey found. Continue reading here

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Vermont Heart Walk to Highlight the Team Effort that Saved a Local Coach!

Vermont advocates pushed for passage of legislation in 2012 that required schools to teach students Hands-only CPR and the importance of an AED (automated external defibrillator). Its efforts like these that have raised awareness to the need for public access to defibrillation and a strong chain of survival. Many schools now have AEDs on hand, including at sporting events.

It’s a good thing. The American Heart Association’s Vermont Heart Walk on September 26th will highlight the successful effort that saved the life of Rice High School Girls’ Basketball Coach Tim Rice from a cardiac arrest during a game against CVU this winter. The CVU team had the foresight to bring their AED to the game with them. That AED, along with many quick actions from bystanders and EMS enabled the coach to give a thumbs up as he left the game instead of much worse outcome.

We’ll honor Cardiologist Ed Terrien, who performed CPR on Coach Rice that day. Join Dr. Terrien and hundreds of others walking at the Vermont Heart Walk at Oakledge Park in Burlington on September 26th to raise funds for life-saving research.

There will also be Heart Walks on September 12th in Swanton and September 19th in Berlin. You can register for any of the walks at Do it today and make a commitment to save lives. Get your friends and family together for a great day and a great cause!

You can also ensure that your community and school have a strong chain of survival by contacting your local high school and asking if the school has an AED and making sure students are CPR-trained.

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