Guest Blogger: Violet Ruiz, Government Relations Director
The American Heart Association celebrated National Eating Healthy Day on Wednesday, November 5, 2014. Each year, organizations, families, schools and communities throughout the United States make a pledge and come together to take steps toward living a healthier life. More than two-thirds of American adults and one in three children and teens are overweight or obese, putting them at risk for heart disease and stroke as many other chronic illnesses and conditions. Promoting healthier eating is an important way to help people be healthier.
Americans typically consume about half their recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. The American Heart Association recommends eating eight or more fruit and vegetable servings every day. For an average adult consuming 2,000 calories daily, that equals 4 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables a day. Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber, and low in saturated fat and calories. Most fruits and vegetables also have no or little sodium, and eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight and your blood pressure.
While heart disease and stroke are leading causes of death and disability for all Americans, more than 80 percent of risk factors for heart disease and stroke are preventable through behaviors like making better food choices, getting regular exercise, keeping a healthy weight and not smoking.
In celebration of National Eating Healthy Day, the Los Angeles American Heart Association office hosted a moving screening of Fed Up, a 2014 American documentary film directed, written and produced by Stephanie Soechtig. The film focuses on the causes of obesity in the U.S., and the food industry’s role in aggravating the epidemic. Advocates were able to learn how to make informed decisions in making the healthy choice the easy choice.
The American Heart Association has many resources to help people eat and live healthier. Visit www.heart.org/healthyliving or these specific sites:
- Nutrition Center — Find the latest nutrition information along with recipes, cooking tips and more.
- Holiday Healthy Eating Guide — Get great recipes and tips for eating healthy during the holidays.
- Heart-Check Food Certification Program—Our Heart-Check mark on food packaging can help you find foods in the grocery store that can be part of an overall healthy dietary pattern. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our My Heart. My Life. and monthly e-newsletter.
If you are interested in helping create a healthier generation in your community, please contact your local Government Relations Director for volunteer opportunities.