This Heart Month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds us that Black adults are twice as likely as White adults to die from preventable heart disease. Experts say uncontrolled hypertension is a major contributor to this disparity.
To fight this health disparity, the CDC is focusing Heart Month efforts on encouraging and empowering Black adults ages 35 to 54 to take small steps to reduce their risk of heart disease.
The CDC Foundation's Live to the Beat website is a great place to start. It breaks down small steps a person can take to decrease their risk of heart attack and stroke. You’ll find lots of resources in the companion toolkit for health professionals.
The NutritionEducationStore.com has lots of materials to supplement this information. Educate and encourage heart health for everyone during Heart Month and all year long. Here are three favorites:
- Sleep Right poster: Spread the word about the importance of sleep, which is now part of the American Heart Association’s Life’s Essential 8TM. Blood pressure goes down during sleep, so someone who isn’t getting enough sleep could experience longer periods where their blood pressure stays high. This poster explains tips for good sleep and recommended hours of sleep by age.
- Learn to Cook Workbook for Adults and Kids: By cooking at home, people can avoid processed food, save money, and eat more heart-healthy meals. It’s never too late to learn how to cook, so consider offering a class for adults of all ages. Make it a family event by including their children, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews. This workbook is easy to follow and packed with helpful information and recipes.
- Dancing Heart poster: The Dancing Heart is a more lighthearted reminder to eat heart-healthy fruits and veggies and to engage in fun physical activity. The heart-shaped character can also be incorporated into Valentine’s Day activities. Want real fruits and veggies? Check out this beauty.
Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD