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What's Up with School Nutrition?

There is a lot of discussion out there about school nutrition – and we couldn’t be happier about that!  Students consume 35% - 50% of their daily caloric intake at school where they are often exposed to junk foods and sugar-sweetened beverages that have little to no nutritional value.  Parents – and students – have concerns about the nutritional value of the foods their kids are consuming at school. Schools are in a unique position to provide a healthy environment by promoting and providing nutritious meals. 

CLICK HERE for an informational video about school nutrition. 

Here is what we know:  In December 2010, the President signed the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which gave the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) the authority to update national nutrition standards for school meals and establish nutrition standards for other foods sold in schools throughout the school day.  As a result, in school year 2013-2014, nearly 90% of schools in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) met nutritional standards, up from 14% in 2009-2010.  That means an overwhelming majority of children are receiving heart-healthy lunches while at school. 

We also know that a healthy school environment, including healthy nutrition, helps improve children’s physical well-being, enhances learning, minimizes behavior problems and increases attendance. 

The evidence is overwhelming that the new school meal standards are working.  Going into child nutrition reauthorization for 2015, the American Heart Association advocates for:

  • Continued support to schools for effective implementation of the federal nutrition standards for school meals.
  • Continued strong implementation of Smart Snacks in School standards. These standards include reducing sodium; eliminating trans fat; decreasing saturated far; minimizing fried foods; offering healthy beverage options; and increasing the offering of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafood, and low-fat dairy. 
  • Continued robust technical assistance by the USDA to support schools in implementing nutrition standards, effective nutrition education, and nutrition promotion and model local wellness policies with effective implementation and evaluation. 
  • Investments in kitchen equipment and infrastructure that can help schools serve healthier meals. 

Source: http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/ahaecc-public/@wcm/@adv/documents/downloadable/ucm_463491.pdf

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The American Heart Association's Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection 2015 Livestream

Join us for this exclusive virtual event where top designers and celebrities demonstrate their support for women's heart health during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Heart disease is not just a man's disease. Each year, 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke. We can change that--80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Help break barriers against heart disease and stroke by joining us for the Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection 2015 live online at GoRedForWomen.org/RedDressCollection on Thursday, February 12 at 8 p.m. Eastern. See you there!

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Join us for the Hoosiers for a Healthier Indiana Advocacy Day!

Did you know:

  • Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in Indiana. More than 9,700 Hoosiers die from their own smoking every year.
  • Indiana taxpayers foot the bill for $2.18 billion ($570 per household) in annual health care expenditures directly caused by tobacco use.
  • Increasing the cigarette tax by $1.00 would reduce youth smoking by 13.3%, save the lives of 32,500 Hoosiers from premature smoking-caused death, and result in $2.08 billion in long-term healthcare savings.

You're invited to join us on Thursday, March 12 at the Indiana Statehouse to discuss the importance of increasing tobacco prices in Indiana by $1 for the health of all Hoosiers with our lawmakers!

Please register to attend below, and we will provide you with updates as needed before the date. Lunch will be provided!

 To register online, please visit this link!

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Share Your Story: Stephani Remetta

Stephani Remetta Indianapolis, IN

Stephani was born with a congenital heart defect that went undiagnosed until she was 27. Told she had a heart murmur, the more serious condition was finally diagnosed after the birth of her son. The diagnosis, accompanied by the news that she would not be able to have more children, led to a dark time for Stephani that included depression and weight gain. In 2012, she made the decision to get healthy in body and mind.  She began eating a healthier diet, drinking more water and committing to exercise. She ran her first 5K in 2012 and is training to run her first half-marathon in 2015.

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Op-Ed: Why Indiana should increase cigarette tax

Check out this excellent editorial from former Indiana state health commissioner Dr. Richard Feldman:

"A state legislative proposal to raise the cost of cigarettes is overdue. Additional state revenues from a $1-a-pack increase could be used to improve Indiana’s miserable state of health, which should be an embarrassment to state elected officials.

Indiana ranks 41st worst in overall health among the states, 42nd in cancer deaths, 39th in cardiovascular deaths, 43rd in obesity, 40th in diabetes, 45th in infant mortality, 40th in the adult smoking rate and 48th in public health funding."

Read the full article here: http://www.indystar.com/story/opinion/2015/01/20/indiana-increase-cigarette-tax/22044875

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Meet the New Surgeon General

Dr. Vivek Murthy was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December to serve as the next surgeon general of the United States. The surgeon general is America’s top public health official, and his responsibilities range from managing disease to promoting prevention and a healthy start for our kids.

At 37, Vivek Murthy is the youngest person and the first Indian-American to hold the post of Surgeon General.

Since this position was created in 1871, just 18 people have held the job. Dr. Murthy, the 19th, replaces an Acting Surgeon General who has filled the role since 2013. Dr. Murthy’s confirmation was delayed for nearly a year due to political issues, but in that time he received the endorsement of more than 100 public health groups, including the American Heart Association.

Dr. Murthy has both business and medical degrees from his studies at Harvard and Yale. He completed his residency at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he most recently served as an attending physician. He has created and led organizations to support comprehensive healthcare reform, to improve clinical trials so new drugs can be made available more quickly and safely, and to combat HIV/AIDS.

His resume is remarkable, and we look forward to working closely with Dr. Murthy to improve the health of all Americans.

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Reminder: send a message to your lawmakers about tobacco

Kids with healthy hearts is why!

Did you know that 13.7% (66,000) of high school students in Indiana are smokers? In our state, about 9,200 young adults become new daily smokers every year. These troubling statistics are driven by easy access to inexpensive tobacco products, marketing that is geared towards youths, and “little cigars” and other tobacco products that are fruit or candy flavored.

Many studies have examined the impact of cigarette tax increases on smoking prevalence, especially in youth. Most have found that higher taxes reduce consumption, especially cessation rates in young smokers. The general consensus is that for every 10% increase in the real price of cigarettes, the increased cost reduces overall cigarette consumption by approximately three to 5%, lowers the number of young-adult smokers by 3.5%, and cuts the number of kids who smoke by six or 7%.

Click here to send a message to your lawmakers about the price of tobacco in Indiana!  Let's tell them that our state tobacco tax currently ranks 32nd, putting the cost of using tobacco products far below the national average.  Let's tell them to work together to do something about this!

 

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AHA staffers meet Indiana Governor Mike Pence

American Heart Association & American Stroke Association Indiana advocacy staff Danielle Patterson and Alex Meixner had a chance this December to briefly discuss AHA/ASA policy priorities with Indiana Governor Mike Pence at an event in Chicago (pictured).  During his speech, Governor Pence spoke about the importance of quality healthcare, and the Indiana volunteers and staff of the American Heart Association & American Stroke Association look forward to working with the Governor and his administration during the upcoming Indiana legislative session. 

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You're the Cure Year End Successes, Let's Celebrate!
It was another banner year for You’re the Cure advocates championing heart and stroke policy change across the country. Year end is a time to look back at what we achieved in states, think ahead to the work still to do, and celebrate the power of volunteers.
 
What did we accomplish last year?
 
 
Below are just three of many victories that made 2014 so successful.  

 

  • 35 states now have laws protecting our littlest hearts. Pulse oximetry, a simple detection screening for heart defects gives newborns a chance to survive thanks to early detection.
  • We reached a major milestone in ensuring all students learn CPR before graduating from high school. Now more than 1 million students, in 20 states, will graduate each year with this lifesaving skill.
  • 6 states increased funding for heart disease and stroke prevention programs.

 

Want to see more accomplishments? Check out the video below.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
These are just a few highlights and for the full story be sure to check out the state by state wrap-up online. We couldn’t achieve these great accomplishments without the power of YOU our advocates. Your work to educate lawmakers, recruit family and friends, and share your story and expertise are what makes change happen. So from your AHA staff partners a big, Thank You!
 
P.S. – You can help inspire others to join the movement by sharing our accomplishments highlight video.

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This Holiday Season, Shop Heart!
It's that time of year again, when we’re all doing our last minute holiday shopping. This year consider giving a gift from the heart. Shop Heart and choose from an assortment of items like cookbooks, apparel, and accessories. You can share the message of heart health when you give an American Heart Association t-shirt, jacket, lapel pin, or tie. Along with all of these great gift ideas, we also have many of our educational materials available, so you can share important heart and stroke prevention advice with friends and family. Best of all when you Shop Heart the money you spend goes directly towards supporting the mission of the American Heart Association!
Also, don't forget to share the Shop Heart site with your own networks, we think you'll find some great gifts for friends and family. Happy Holidays!

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