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CVD Prevention

CVD Prevention

Fighting cardiovascular disease requires dedicated resources in our communities for prevention programs and education.

The fight against our nation’s number one killer – cardiovascular disease – can’t be limited to treatment. It must also include prevention. Strategies that detect risk factors for disease and encourage healthier lifestyles are not luxuries – they’re lifesavers.

Not being at a healthy weight is a strain on the hearts of Americans. More than 35% of adults are overweight or obese, and childhood obesity is affecting 32% of kids. With obesity a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke, this epidemic is a serious public health issue that must be addressed.

Meanwhile, cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, claiming on average 480,000 lives every year. It increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, especially in those who are genetically predisposed. Smoking decreases our ability to exercise, increases the tendency for blood clots, and decreases the good cholesterol in our bodies.

That’s why we’re advocating for:

Improved Nutrition & Physical Education in Schools

Schools have an important role to play in reinforcing healthy lifestyle habits for kids. We support strong nutrition standards for school meals and competitive foods (such as vending machines and a la carte lines) sold in schools to include more fruits and vegetables, less sodium and trans fats, more whole grains, and low fat and fat free milk. Further, we support policy that requires all K-12 students to receive regular physical education instruction (150 minutes per week for elementary students, 225 minutes per week for middle and high school students).

Healthier Food Options & Physical Activity Promotion in Communities

The environments where we all live, work, learn, and play greatly impact our ability to maintain healthier lifestyles. That’s why the AHA/ASA supports policies that help Americans make healthier diet choices, such as menu-labeling in restaurants and reducing trans fats and sodium in the food supply. And to help get more people moving, the AHA/ASA supports community planning that includes bike paths, sidewalks, and crosswalks, as well as shared use agreements to make school facilities more accessible to the whole community.

Sufficient Funding for CDC Programs

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), our nation’s prevention agency, created the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention to establish programs that would reduce deaths and disability related to heart disease and stroke. Due to underfunding, only a handful of states receive funding from the CDC for prevention programs every year. That’s why we’re advocating for a comprehensive funding solution that extends across the entire country.

WISEWOMAN

WISEWOMAN (Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation of Women Across the Nation) screens low-income, uninsured women ages 40-64 for heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular disease risk and provides them with disease counseling, education, referral, and follow-up. We support maintaining funding for this important program.

By getting involved you can help us support vital CDC prevention programs across the United States so that no one misses out on resources that can help keep their lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.[MF1] 

Tobacco Control

We support raising taxes on tobacco products, which motivates people to quit and discourages kids from starting, while providing funding for smoking cessation programs. We also advocate for policies at the federal, state and local levels that prohibit the sale of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to anyone under the age of 21.

Support for Quitters

Since quitting isn’t easy, we support helping smokers who want to quit by establishing sustainable funding for state tobacco cessation and prevention programs and supporting full coverage of tobacco cessation assistance by all insurance companies.

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