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A Victory for NYC's Sodium Warning Icon Law!

The saga that surrounds New York City's Sodium Warning Label continues.  But every step has been a strong show of support of this policy which will help to empower consumers to make healthy decisions about the food they eat when dining out at chain restaurants.

On Thursday, May 26, the New York State’s Appellate Division, First Department denied a requested injunction by the National Restaurant Association which delayed the enforcement of the rule initially approved by the Board of Health in 2015.  You can learn more about the latest development here:  http://news.heart.org/new-york-city-can-now-enforce-sodium-warnings-on-menus/

Every challenge brought by the National Restaurant Association has been denied.  While the court case continues to assess the merits of the policy, the American Heart Association believes firmly that the sodium warning labels will help to address the public health urgency as American's continue to consume too much sodium.  These warning labels will highlight food items on the menu have more than the recommended daily limit for sodium, thus putting diners in danger of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

It's time that the National Restaurant Association stopped fighting this common sense law.  In the meantime, we look forward to seeing the rule enforced beginning next month!

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New Orleans Expands Access to Healthy Foods

The City of New Orleans took another step towards reaching their goal of becoming a healthier city by the city’s 300th anniversary in 2018!

Recently, the City adopted policy that will expand healthy food and beverage choices on city property. Now, all food and beverages provided by the City through meetings, events, cafeterias, vending machines, etc. will meet national nutrition standards. That means more whole grains, lower sodium options and few sugary drinks that are Fit NOLA approved.

We applaud the City of New Orleans for making the healthy choice the easy choice. A special thank you to the American Heart Association’s Metro New Orleans Board for working with city leaders and local vendors to provide education and tools to implement the policy.

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World Hypertension Day Encourages Everyone to Know Your Numbers

In North Dakota, around 25 percent of the community population has hypertension, and about 13 percent of those folks do not know they have hypertention. That's according to Tiffany Knauf, hypertension management coordinator for the North Dakota Department of Health, which is why representatives from the North Dakota Department of Health, North Dakota State University and the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences held a news conference to raise awareness of hypertension and the importance of regular blood pressure screening. 

Hypertension, commonly referred to as high blood pressure, can be found in all age groups and usually has no symptoms.  However, lifestyle choices such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, refraining from smoking and "knowing your number" or checking your blood pressure regularly, can help reduce the risk of hypertension. June Herman, regional vice president for advocacy of the American Heart Association, demonstrated a home blood pressure monitor at the press conference.  Her result was higher than her usual measure, which she explained was likely due to just having given a presentation, and highlighted the importance of checking and then re-checking and to not make assumptions about your numbers.  For more on this story, CLICK HERE. 

 

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Take Action for Corner Stores Today

We would all like the option to make a healthy choice, right?  We need your help now to speak up for the Healthy Corner Store Initiative. Legislative session is moving fast and the NC House will be debating the state budget next week. It is important that the $1 million appropriation for Healthy Corner Stores is included.

Ask your legislators to fully fund the Healthy Corner Stores in the state budget.

Over 1.5 million of our North Carolina neighbors live in communities where healthy foods aren’t affordable or accessible. The Healthy Corner Store Initiative can help change that by bringing healthy, local foods into small stores in neighborhoods that need them most.

We all deserve the right to make a healthy choice. Tell your lawmakers today that you want all North Carolinians to have that right and ask them to include full funding for Healthy Corner Stores in the state budget.

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Nevada do you know what F.A.S.T stands for?

May brings the opportunity to discuss and educate on an issue that is more common than we want it to be – stroke. Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in Nevada yet only eight percent of those recently surveyed in the American Stroke Association/Ad Council Stroke Awareness Continuous Tracking Study could identify each letter in F.A.S.T., an acronym of the most common stroke warning signs.
F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • F - Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • A - Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S - Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • T - Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Learn the F.A.S.T signs and share them with your friends and family. When you are done quiz each other by taking the F.A.S.T quiz!

Teaching people how to recognize a stroke and respond quickly is a primary goal of the American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative, sponsored nationally by Medtronic. So let’s educate and hopefully minimize the damage stroke does in our communities.

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Kids Cook with Heart Maui

Over the past 30 years childhood obesity has more than tripled, placing children at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. In order to fight the onset of obesity among children, the American Heart Association developed the Kids Cook With Heart program. Studies show that youth who are involved in preparing their own meals are more likely to eat nutrient rich foods and more fruits and vegetables.

While participating in the program, students learn the basic skills required to prepare their own meals at home, as well as the information they need to make healthier choices.  The classes, taught by AHA volunteers with backgrounds in cooking and nutrition, are fun and educational. This is the first year of the program in Hawaii and we think it was a great success!

The program was offered at Lahaina area elementary, middle and high schools thanks to a grant to the AHA from the Saunder’s Family.

Recently students at Lahainaluna High School completed an eight week “Teen’s Cook With Heart” program that included an “Iron Chef” style healthful cooking competition. During the competition students were presented with a mystery bag of ingredients, and with what they had learned through participation in the program and the help of their chef mentors they prepared a healthful salad, dressing and entrée for a panel of judges. The winning team members won gift cards to a local grocery store.

At the end of the program all of the students received aprons and a cook book with healthy recipes.

We hope to continue this program in other local schools. If you have questions or would like to find out how your school can participate contact Lesli Yano at 808-377-6641.

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WE ARE THE CURE for cardiovascular disease and stroke

Guest Blogger: Marc Watterson, Utah Government Relations Director

Each May we have an opportunity to celebrate and educate on an issue that is close to all of us – Stroke. As we have shared in the past Stroke in the fourth leading cause of death in Utah – and it doesn’t have to be. With your support we have improved the systems of care in Utah for how stroke patients are treated in our local hospitals. The success stories that we hear about are remarkable and it is all thanks to you!

One of the things that we have seen real movement on is the recognition of stroke signs in the community. FAST, can you name them?

  • Face droopiness, numbness and weakness
  • Arm numbness and weakness
  • Slurred speech or trouble speaking or understanding
  • Time to call 911 if these or other symptoms occur

More and more Utahns are becoming aware of these signs and acting accordingly when they seem them in themselves or others. But more can be done. Nationally, nearly one third of all Americans don’t know the signs. So, to celebrate our successes, familiarize ourselves with proven stroke prevention, educate the public on FAST signs – and have a little fun – we have been partnering with University of Utah Health Care in our “Together to End Stroke” community education program.

We are hosting several events in Salt Lake this month in hopes of creating “Stroke Heroes” among us!

  • Stroke Support Group – May 17th, 5:00 - 6:30 pm @ AHA|ASA Salt Lake Office (465 S 400 East, Suite 110)
    • For survivors, friends and families affected by stroke. This is an opportunity for individuals to share their successes and challenges, connect with others, and realize that you’re not alone! Caregivers are welcome to attend this group meeting as well. This month’s guest speaker will be speaking about Occupational Therapy. 

 

  • USOAR – Utah Stroke Outdoor Activity and Recreation, May 18th, 5:30 – 7:00 pm @ Liberty Park, Northeast Corner (600 E 900 S)
    • The University of Utah Health Sciences Program is having their kickoff event for this program. Activities will focus on ways to help stroke survivors adapt to outdoor activities and how these can help with rehab. Activities like biking, golfing, rafting, bowling, and more will be showcased!

 

  • Striking Out Stroke, May 25th, 11:30 -1:30 pm @ City Creek Shopping Center (40 East South Temple)
    • The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association, in conjunction with our “Together to End Stroke” community partner, University of Utah Health Care, will be putting on a special event downtown. We’ll have a pitching area for participants to show off their pitching skills, an on-site vehicle from 101.5 The Eagle to share some tunes, and heart-healthy snacks for all to enjoy!

 

  • Savings Strokes – June 17th, 10:30 – 1:00 pm at Nibley Park Golf Course (2780 S 700 E, Salt Lake City)
    • A free opportunity for stroke survivors and their caretakers to participate in golf for pleasure as well as for physical rehabilitation. This year’s event is sponsored by University of Utah Health Care and will feature a free lunch for participants.

If you would like more information on these events or would like to volunteer to help us out please contact Lavinia Sasaki with the AHA|ASA at Lavinia.Sasaki@heart.org.

Together, with your help, WE ARE THE CURE for cardiovascular disease and stroke!

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You are not alone

Guest blogger: Amanda Cahill, Montana Government Relations Director

The internet has enabled us to quickly become “experts” about most any topic. When it comes to health, most people will “google” symptoms at the first onset. However, this poses a dilemma when it comes to reading information about complex diagnoses like heart disease and stroke.  Too often, we will find people recounting their tales and offering inappropriate advice that does more to scare us than help.  This is where the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association Support Network comes in. 

The Support Network is a new initiative to provide emotional and practical support to people living with heart disease and stroke.  There is something for everyone and different forums dedicated to Stroke, Pediatric Stroke, Rehab and Recovery, Chronic Heart Conditions, Congenital Heart Defects, and even a section for Caregivers.

The Support Network offers an online community, as well as materials for starting face-to-face community-based support groups. The monitored online community is a place for people to ask questions, share concerns or fears, provide helpful tips and find encouragement and inspiration.

Research shows that helping people heal emotionally after a heart attack or stroke can also help them heal physically.

A study just released in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that a general lack of social support is associated with poor health and quality of life and depression in young men and women a year after having a heart attack. If you are a survivor or a caregiver know that you are not alone. If you need advice or just want to talk to others that are going through the same thing as you click here and connect.

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Do you know what F.A.S.T. stands for?

May brings the opportunity to discuss and educate on an issue that is more common than we want it to be – stroke. Stroke is the 4th leading cause of death in Oregon yet only eight percent of those recently surveyed in the American Stroke Association/Ad Council Stroke Awareness Continuous Tracking Study could identify each letter in F.A.S.T., an acronym of the most common stroke warning signs.

F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • F - Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • A - Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S - Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • T - Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Learn the F.A.S.T signs and share them with your friends and family. When you are done quiz each other by taking the F.A.S.T quiz!

Teaching people how to recognize a stroke and respond quickly is a primary goal of the American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative, sponsored nationally by Medtronic. So let’s educate and hopefully minimize the damage stroke does in our communities.

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Will you help influence scientific research?

We need to hear from consumers like you as the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) partner together on the future of research. Your experience could lead to the next research study to improve heart disease and stroke treatment.

As an advocate we’ve asked you to speak out for increased funding for medical research and you’ve answered by contacting lawmakers and sharing your personal stories as survivors, caregivers, and loved ones touched by heart and stroke disease. Now we invite you to share your experience, the decisions made in determining your or your loved one’s treatment plans and the factors that influenced those decisions. If we better understand your experience it can help guide the research that will lead to better care tailored to the specific needs of patients.

If you’ve had a heart attack, suffered a stroke, or you know a loved one who has, your unique understanding could help guide research to solve un-met care challenges faced by individuals like you and improve heart and stroke treatment.

Here are the details:

  • We are focused on un-met challenges faced by patients and caregivers like you. 
  • To join this challenge, you’ll be asked to provide a written submission of your first-hand experience after a heart disease or stroke event.
  • The story and description of the concerns you faced and the decisions you made should be personal and not a general case.
  • A team of scientific professionals and patient representatives with expertise in heart disease and stroke will review your story. Learning more about issues and concerns important to your decision-making can help them improve experiences and outcomes for patients in the future.
  • If your submission is chosen, you could win $1,000 and possibly help shape the future of cardiovascular research.
  • All submissions must be received by June 8, 2016.

Please take this important challenge and share your insights. Your story matters. Take the challenge today!

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