- Reduce intake of fast food and other high sodium meals.
- Motivate children to exercise from a young age.
- Increase nutrition education to families.
- Improve packaging to make healthier options more obvious.
According to Medical News Today, cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of Americans. There are several, easy habits that we as a population can adopt to lower the rate of heart disease in America. Starting these habits young is important to initiate a lifelong prevention of the disease.
First of all, society must motivate children to have at least an hour of exercise each day. Not only does exercise improve mood, it also has many physical benefits as well. Exercising at vigorous intensity for thirty minutes a day “trains the heart to be more resilient” thus making it more effective at pumping blood throughout the body, allowing oxygen to be readily available to cells (Harvard, 2018). This in turn, will help make children be more physically capable and more likely to maintain a healthy weight. Increasing that recommended time to an hour a day will only bring more benefits. Communities can hold organized sport games a couple times a week at a local field and children together to help form relationships as well as build a healthier community.
Next, would be to label heart healthy foods in an obvious way. We can make specific packaging for foods that are healthy so they are easily identifiable by shoppers. Foods that should be labeled are whole grain breads, wild caught fish, nuts such as walnuts or almonds, also fruits and vegetables including: avocados, dark leafy greens, berries, tomatoes and many more. This would help people that are not educated in nutrition have an idea of what food they should be feeding their children and themselves.
Finally, a noticeable stand against fast food should be made. Most fast food is very high in sodium, saturated and trans fat, as well as cholesterol. Having too much of these too often can lead to a number of health issues and specifically to heart disease. These ingredients will increase blood pressure and increase body fat when consumed too frequently. Parents and children may not know this because they have not been informed. Advertisements for these restaurants tend to make them look healthy and delicious but this is oftentimes misleading. Just because a product has lower fat than it did before does not mean that it is healthy to consume frequently. A lot of people fall into the trap of believing everything they see in advertisements. They could do this by making counter ads listing the negative effects of certain foods and mentioning healthy alternatives.
The most important thing is educating the people on what is healthy and what is not, from there they can make their own decisions.
Harvard Health Publishing. (2018, March). The many ways exercise helps your heart. Retrieved March, 2019, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/the-many-ways-exercise-helps-your-heart
Link, R. (2018, March 5). 15 Incredibly Heart-Healthy Foods. Retrieved March 10, 2019, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/heart-healthy-foods
Nichols, H. (2017, February 23). The top 10 leading causes of death in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282929.php