Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. Stroke can lead to permanent disability, or even death, if not treated in time. Shockingly enough, 80% of strokes are preventable. The number one risk factor for stroke is hypertension, or high blood pressure. Blood pressure can be controlled through healthy diet and exercise. This World Stroke Day we’re looking at the importance of healthy food access to preventing stroke.
In order to prevent stroke, Texans need to incorporate healthier food into their diets, such as fruits and vegetables, and eating more seafood instead of red meat. However, 3.4 million Texans do not have easy access to healthy foods. Without local grocery stores, Texans are forced to rely on fast food and unhealthy options often found at corner stores. An unhealthy diet can lead to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and ultimately, stroke.
John Murphy of Austin, who suffered a stroke in 2005, says that healthy food access is essential to preventing stroke.
“My stroke was because of high blood pressure and not eating right.” Murphy says.
Immediately after Murphy’s stroke, he had difficulty navigating everyday life. Having easy access to a grocery store helped him regain independence and now helps him maintain normal cholesterol and blood pressure levels without medication.
“I am fully aware that not everyone is as lucky as I am to live within walking distance of a Whole Foods store, which is why I volunteer to advocate for everyone to have access to healthy food.” Murphy says.
Join John in advocating to help Texas make the healthy choice the easy choice. Support the American Heart Association’s Healthy Food Access Initiative by raising your voice and telling your legislator to make grocery access a priority during this upcoming 85th Texas legislative session. Add your name here to show your support and be notified of other opportunities to take action. If you have a story to share like John’s please contact Victoria Nelson and let your voice be heard.