American Heart Association

Why You Need To Go Red Right Now

January 30, 2013 at 8:51 am , by

Can a color make a difference? When I say the word “pink,” I know what pops into your mind: breast cancer. The pink-washing of October has been phenomenally successful at making everyone aware of breast cancer—and comfortable talking about this once-verboten subject. Millions of donation dollars have led to advances in detection and treatment. The next step, we hope, is prevention and a cure.

Now here’s why you need to go red. Because far more women die every year of cardiovascular disease than they do of breast cancer—in fact, 10 times more. CVD is still the number 1 killer of women. And way too many of us are still in denial. I get furious when I hear stories of women who downplay their symptoms and don’t call 911 when they could be having a heart attack. We need to change this!

Ten years ago, the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute created National Wear Red Day to raise awareness and help spread the word about how women can reduce their risks of heart disease. It’s working—but not enough. We’re asking you to get on board.

Make sure you know the symptoms of a heart attack and what you should do. Memorize these!

Wear red this Friday, February 1, to show you mean business. Get your friends, family, work colleagues and even your pets to do it, too. Then share your photos here.

Here’s what else you can do. Encourage your friends by using this image as your Facebook profile shot.

Make a donation by shopping for the cause here.

See you in red this Friday—let’s help make a difference!

Photo copyright Zoom Team,


Get in the Kitchen for a Healthier Heart

October 7, 2011 at 11:49 am , by

I never cook. I’m a busy college student—between classes and commuting to New York City for my internship here at LHJ, I just don’t have time. But this week, LHJ sent me into the kitchen. I got to go to the American Heart Association’s launch event for the Simple Cooking with Heart campaign. The AHA partnered with celebrity chef Marc Anthony Bynum (that’s him in the middle, with me on the left and editorial assistant Amelia Harnish on the right), a winner on the Food Network’s Chopped, to give a group of journalists a cooking class. After a quick lesson in knife skills, we made two of the easy, tasty and healthy recipes from the campaign to get families back into the kitchen.

On the menu was Asian-style noodles paired with Asian coleslaw. We started with the dressing for the coleslaw: low-sodium soy sauce, red pepper flakes, sugar, olive oil and vinegar. Then I learned how to seed a cucumber and the easiest way to chop a red pepper: just slice the sides off and throw away the rest. I felt like a real chef!

After that, we moved on to the noodles, which just took mixing ramen, chicken broth, a little bit of garlic, mixed vegetables (a bag of frozen is fine) and a lean cut of pork in a skillet. Bring to a boil. You can substitute any protein you want—chicken, beef, shrimp—and it’s still heart healthy. The whole thing took a little over 30 minutes.

Easy! After the cooking fun, I was able to bask, as well as feast, in my accomplishments. I wolfed down the meal I created and I realized I should definitely be cooking more. It felt good knowing that I had made something myself. If I can do it, you can, too. It’s fun, and a good way to slim down.

“Just getting back to home cooking can lead to healthier diets because restaurant foods are always higher in fat and sodium,” says Rachel K. Johnson, Ph.D., professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont and an AHA spokesperson.

Here are Dr. Johnson’s tips for getting back into the kitchen:

  • Try new things to find good, simple recipes that the whole family enjoys.
  • Make a shopping list to save time.
  • Get your kids involved. They’re more likely to eat healthy food if they’ve participated in the kitchen.

You can find lots of quick, good-for-you recipes at the Simple Cooking with Heart website to get started (Click here and here for the recipes we made at the event). Head to their website, and commit to cooking more. It’s the first step to a healthier heart!

Learn to Save a Life in 60 Seconds

June 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm , by

Would you know what to do if someone near you collapsed? You’d probably know to call 911, but would you be able to step in and perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR?

It may seem like something that would never happen to you, but it’s surprisingly common. In fact, every year more than 300,000 people go into sudden cardiac arrest when they’re not in a hospital. Most of the time it happens at home, and many times, the person has shown no signs of heart disease beforehand. Performing CPR immediately can double or even triple a person’s chance of survival. Yet 70 percent of bystanders don’t act because they don’t know CPR or are hesitant to do mouth-to-mouth on a stranger, according to the American Heart Association.

The good news: recent studies show that in most cases the mouth-to-mouth part isn’t necessary for the patient to survive till emergency help arrives. And that makes it is so much easier to learn! It’s called hands-only CPR, meaning you only do chest compressions, and you can learn it by watching a 60-second teaching video.

To celebrate CPR week, Go Red For Women is featuring the video here. Take a minute to learn today, and be ready to help when someone’s heart stops. Share this with your family and friends—kids can learn it too. Your new skills could save a life.

Thank A Mom, Help Women’s Hearts

May 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm , by

AHA-momIn case you haven’t been tipped off at the supermarket, the drugstore, or your local Hallmark retailer in the past few days—Mother’s Day is Sunday. Quick, to the card aisle! And also, send an e-card! While I’m a huge advocate of paper cards with handwritten notes in them for every occasion, I love this promotion from the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women and Macy’s. For every e-card sent, Macy’s will donate $5 to Go Red For Women, one of our favorite women’s health advocacy organizations.

All you have to do is go to the “Thank A Mom” Facebook page, select the Go Red For Women movement (they’re one of five participating organizations), and then create your card. You can use one of the preloaded designs or upload your own, and write a personal note. If your mom is super cool like my mom and is on Facebook, you can post it directly to her wall. Or you can just enter her e-mail address. You can send up to 10 cards a day, so be sure to send one to all your friends and relatives who are moms, too!

Happy Mother’s Day from the LHJ Health Ladies!

Helping Their Gardens and Students Grow

September 29, 2010 at 2:24 pm , by

AHAgarden31Inspired by Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, environmental and health activist Kelly Meyer decided to stop complaining about the lack of healthy options for her children and do something about it.

With friends in Los Angeles she started Teaching Garden, an initiative to put gardens and corresponding nutrition curricula in local schools. She thought the best way to teach healthy habits from the start would be to provide kids with a garden, where they could learn hands-on about where food really comes from: “the ground, not the vending machine or the cereal box,” Meyer says.

Studies show that healthy kids perform better in school, and with 1 in 3 American children now obese, it’s clear more schools could use a program like this one.

As part of the kickoff of NBC’s Education Nation summit Monday, Teaching Garden and the American Heart Association (AHA) invited a group of New York City schoolchildren to Rockefeller Center to announce their goal of putting 1,000 gardens in schools across the country over the next two years. That’s Meyer, above, far left, with AHA chairperson Debra Lockwood, TV funnyman Jimmy Fallon and 5th graders from KIPP Infinity School. Read more

Women Still Don’t Know About Heart Disease

February 10, 2010 at 1:30 pm , by


Last week, Julie and I went to a Go Red for Women dinner, part of the American Heart Association’s campaign to increase knowledge for women’s heart disease. Besides catching up with AHA president, the wonderful Clyde Yancy, M.D., we got to hear some shocking heart stats.

The AHA revealed the findings from its newest study about women’s awareness of cardiovascular disease (CVD), headed by Lori Mosca, M.D., Ph.D., the lively, marathon-running professor of medicine and director of preventive cardiology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

A quick summary:

1. Awareness that CVD is the leading cause of death among women has almost doubled since 1997. Still, only 54 percent of women know that CVD is the leading cause of death among women (vs. 30 percent in 1997).

2. Only about half of women know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Plus, only half of women would call 911 if they thought they were having one.

3. More than half of women rely on unproven therapies to prevent CVD, including taking a multivitamin (69 percent), antioxidants (70 percent) and aromatherapy (29 percent).

That’s us with Dr. Yancy –>