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In North Dakota, Every Bill Gets a Vote

While the North Dakota legislature only meets every other year and for only 80 days, there is no shortage of work that gets done, and every bill that is introduced gets voted on unless it is withdrawn.  That's a lot of legislation that is discussed in Bismarck every two years.  Last year, 900 bills were introduced during the legislative session, and all bills that were not withdrawn got votes and over half were passed and signed into law.  Nationally, only 5 percent of the 11,000 bills that were proposed during the current term got a vote, and only 2 percent were signed into law by the President.  For more information about on this story about our citizen legislature, CLICK HERE

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For Kids, What is Ideal Heart Health?

The road to cardiovascular disease begins in childhood, and it’s a road many American children are on, based on a new report from the American Heart Association that indicates very few kids meet all the criteria for ideal heart health.

Many are overweight or obese. Others don’t get enough exercise or have picked up smoking. But the biggest disqualifying factor was diet: Less than 1 percent of children ages 2 to 19 meet the criteria for an ideal diet, according to federal data from 2007 to 2008.

That troubling reality led the AHA to issue Thursday’s scientific statement that provides the first detailed look at ideal heart health for kids: no tobacco use, a healthy weight, at least 60 minutes of exercise a day, a healthy diet score and normal blood pressure, total cholesterol and blood sugar.

Pediatric cardiologist Thomas R. Kimball, M.D., was “shocked” when he heard so few U.S. children meet all seven criteria for ideal heart health.

For more on this story, CLICK HERE. 

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The Jig is Up on Added Sugar

ICYMI - which means "in case you missed it" ... new scientific evidence reveals the dangers of too much sugar for our kids.  New recommendations by the American Heart Association are as follows:  Experts recommend that children ages 2-18 consumer less than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day.  Also recommended is limiting sugary beverage consumption to no more than one 8 ounce serving per week.  The recommendations also advise that children under the age of two should not consumer any foods and beverages with added sugars. 

According to the statement by the AHA, eating foods high in added sugars throughout childhood is linked to the development of risk factors for heart disease, such as an increased risk of obesity and elevated blood pressure in children and young adults.

“Children who eat foods loaded with added sugars tend to eat fewer healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products that are good for their heart health,” said Miriam Vos, M.D., Ms.P.H, lead author, nutrition scientist and associate professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

The likelihood of children developing these health problems rises with an increase in the amount of added sugars consumed. Overweight children who continue to take in more added sugars are more likely to be insulin resistant, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, according to the statement.

“There has been a lack of clarity and consensus regarding how much added sugar is considered safe for children, so sugars remain a commonly added ingredient in foods and drinks, and overall consumption by children remains high – the typical American child consumes about triple the recommended amount of added sugars,” said Vos.

For more on this story, as shared on Good Morning American, CLICK HERE. 

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Legislative Special Session: Update

North Dakota lawmakers are in Bismarck for a Legislative Special Session called by Governor Dalrymple to address a budget shortfall.  The session was called to order on August 2nd.  According to officials, an updated budget forecast predicted tax collections will continue to drop due to depressed oil and farm commodity prices.  The governor stated that unless something is done, the budget deficit will swell to $310 million by June 30, 2017, when the current budget cycle ends.

AHA staff are in Bismarck for the special session and are monitoring discussions for any impact to programs that affect cardiovascular health, emergency medicine, prevention of chronic diseases and nutrition. 

Watch for updates on our You’re the Cure blog.  For more on this story, CLICK HERE. 

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Powers Lake Ambulance Receives EMS Recognition

At a time when rural areas are facing critical shortages of emergency medical professionals, we are pleased to recognize the Powers Lake Ambulance Service for recently being named the Northwest Region Squad of the Year for 2015.  The intent of this award is to recognize a service that significantly contributes to the provision, development and improvement of pre-hospital care and the EMS education of their community.  Powers Lake is recognized for their dedication and hard work in implementing the Cardiac Ready Community program. 

In addition, Cole Bentley, a member of the squad, also received the Northwest Region Rising Star award at the North Dakota EMS State Conference.  Cole is responsible for the data entry for the ambulance service.  This award honors an individual who is new to the field of pre-hospital care and shows rapid improvement, exemplary skills and takes on added responsibility.  Bentley responded to the most calls in the community in 2015. 

From the Burke County Tribune:  In 2015, the Powers Lake Ambulance Service began to realize how important CPR was in the community.  The group applied for and received gaming monies which allowed them to offer a CPR class free of charge with all materials included.  Thirty-five community residents took part and became CPR-certified.  Not long after, during an emergency medical services conference, trained volunteers from Powers Lake were asked if they would be interested in participating in a pilot project for a Cardiac Ready Community.  Squad members didn't have to think about it before agreeing it was a much needed project for the community.

CPR instructors trained more than 200 people including 67 students in grads 7-12 at Powers Lake School.  In addition, other events have taken place to improve cardiac health such as blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, fundraising support the American Heart Association and continued community CPR training classes, including at the high school.  Several businesses in the community are now equipped with automated external defibrillators (AEDs) including several churches, fire department vehicles, The Country Store, Country Fresh Foods, Food Barn, and Farmers Union Oil.  Many rural members on the ambulance service have an AED in their homes which makes them able to respond more quickly in their areas if the need arises. 

Energy Impact grants and grants from the Powers Lake City and Rural Ambulance District made it possible to purchase a new ambulance in 2015 and also construct a new building in 2012.  The organization now has two fully-equipped ambulances and a very nice facility to house them.  Their volunteers are well-trained and ready for service when needed. 

With everything they have going for them, Powers Lake is still always in need of new volunteers.  Anyone interested in taking an EMT or EMR class is asked to contact them at 464-5566. 

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F-M Ambulance Earns Award

The American Heart Association is pleased to honor F-M Ambulance the association's Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Award for implementing quality improvement standards for the treatment of patients who experience STEMI heart attacks.  The Mission: Lifeline program seeks to close the gaps that separate ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients from the timely access to appropriate treatments they need to save their lives.  Agencies that receive this award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for two years, and treat at least 8 STEMI patients for the year.  This is the second year in a row that F-M Ambulance has earned this honor.  Congratulations to F-M Ambulance on your continued commitment to quality care for patients. 

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New Study: E-cigarettes could cut smoking-related deaths by 21 percent

E-cigarettes could lead to a 21 percent drop in deaths from smoking-related diseases in those born after 1997, according to a study published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

The study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network, found that under most plausible scenarios e-cigarettes and other vapor products have a generally positive public health impact. For more on this story, CLICK HERE. 

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Pokémon Go Brings Video Games Outside

Pokémon Go is getting players physically moving in the real world, a change from the stereotypical stationary screen time usually associated with gaming. The app works by allowing GPS to track the gamer’s location, which in turn moves the player’s avatar the same distance on the in-game map.

“There is already clear evidence that people are walking more each day while using it,” said Wei Peng Ph. D, an associate professor at Michigan State University, who studies the potential benefits in using video games and interactive media to promote health.

For more on this story, CLICK HERE. 

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Advocate Spotlight: Janelle Steinberg

Janelle Steinberg North Dakota

I am busy - like crazy, off-the-charts busy.  I have six kids, a husband, a part-time job at my church, a couple of businesses, I run the North Dakota International Pageant, and volunteer opportunities coming out of my ears.  You know what though, I LOVE IT!  I can’t imagine life any other way.  I like having a full day and a full life.

Being busy does have its downside though:  I tend to be late, I may have left a kid behind before, and we eat out more often than we’d like, among other things.  All of those little bumps in my day, they are just that, little.  They are the things that make life interesting, kind of like road construction make summer interesting.   The biggest downside I see in being busy is this….. I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME! 

I don’t have enough time to do all the work I see that needs doing.  Not the work of MY life, the work of the world.  There is a lot that needs to be done, so many ways we can help those around us, so many ways we can reach out and make a difference.  I want to make a difference! But my day is full, my life is full.  I am at the point where I have to say “no” to excellent opportunities.  It is terrible to believe you can be part of the solution and not have the time to do anything about it.  I felt stuck.  I couldn’t figure out how to do more, at least not until the kinks of cloning were figured out.  I need an army.

And that is my why!  There is work to do and I am just one person.  It is time for me to think bigger, to find that army of passionate people.  The American Heart Association and Go Red, thinks like me.  It is time for a movement to start.  No one of us can make a difference alone, but as a nation, as an organization dedicated to change, together we can make a difference.  Together we can save lives.

The AHA equips me personally, by providing health tools, meal planning and physical activities. In turn, I use the knowledge I have learned to change the habits of my family, usually without to many protests.   As Director of the North Dakota International Pageants, I also get to have a professional relationship with Go Red.  The Go Red Movement and the International Pageants are Partners of change.  Daily I get to work with Contestants and women from across North Dakota as they learn about women’s heart health and then as they turn around and become advocates themselves.  Do you see how the circle expands? 

I may be just one busy person, but I am going to live my life making a difference.  One life. One heart at a time.

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The Sodium 411

Thinking about reducing the sodium in your and your family’s diet? You’ve come to the right place! We’ll show you how extra salt sneaks into your diet and how it hurts your health, and share tips for kissing the excess salt goodbye. We call it the Sodium 411 ... and be sure to keep checking our blog, the Salty Scoop, to learn more.  Here you’ll find the latest information on sodium and your health, healthy recipes, info-graphics, videos about lowering sodium, and our sodium quiz.

Find out how much sodium the American Heart Association recommends and get tips for keeping track of how much sodium you’re eating. Most of us are eating much more sodium than we need, even if we never pick up the salt shaker. Get tips on how to cut back on salt and sodium and move on to a healthier relationship with food. Get healthy recipes and easy tips for cooking with less salt and sodium. We have recipes in English and Spanish.

Need a quick info-graphic to encourage your employees to consumer less salt?  You've come to the right place!  CLICK HERE  Test your sodium IQ but taking our quiz ... find out how YOU can reduce your sodium intake and keep your heart healthy. 

This information is designed to help individuals improve their health and understand heart disease and stroke risks. It is not intended, or to be construed, as medical advice, diagnosis and treatment, and is not a substitute for consultations with qualified health professionals who are familiar with an individual’s medical needs. Individuals with medical conditions or dietary restrictions should follow the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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