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Heart Disease Prevention May Save Billions Annually in U.S.
Date:7/26/2011

d professor and director of the division of cardiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, in the news release.

The heart experts urged policy-makers to take the following steps:

  • Require schools to offer proper physical education and other opportunities to exercise on a daily basis.
  • Ensure that schools provide more fruits and vegetables for lunch and fewer foods high in salt and sugar.
  • Push for construction of communities that incorporate physical activity and promote the establishment of sidewalks and bike trails.
  • Cut down on added sugar, salt and trans fats in foods.
  • Encourage local stores to carry affordable fresh produce.
  • Ban smoking in restaurants and other indoor spaces.
  • Boost taxes on tobacco products to further discourage their use.
  • Ensure adequate funding for smoking cessation programs.

The AHA policy statement concluded that taking steps to prevent heart disease now could have long-term economic and physiological benefits.

"Prevention will pay for itself," added Tomaselli. "Not just monetarily, but also by lengthening and improving the quality of life people can enjoy. More importantly, these changes won't just affect us today, they'll have a positive impact on generations to come."

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information on heart disease prevention.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, July 25, 2011


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