Start! eating healthy on national day

The American Heart Association has issued a call for companies and individuals to participate in National Start! Eating Healthy Day on Wed., Nov. 4. The American Heart Association’s first annual event is aimed at raising awareness for the importance of good nutrition and making the best eating decisions to reduce a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Fort Wayne area companies are encouraged to help the fight against heart disease and rally their workforce by hosting a National Start! Eating Healthy Day activity.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans, but it us also a largely preventable disease.

Companies can take the time to focus on wellness – and help take a giant step towards healthier nutrition and healthy lifestyles. Worksite wellness programs are a proven strategy to prevent the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, according to a statement published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

“Most company leaders know that creating and encouraging healthy eating in the workplace isn’t always easy and can’t be done alone. This is where the American Heart Association’s Start! campaign can help,” says Jay Gilbert, President and CEO, Physicians Health Plan (PHP). “They are dedicated to helping adults get and stay healthy in the workplace, at home and everywhere in between. This is a core part of our mission as well.”

Companies can participate in National Start! Eating Healthy Day by:
- Serving only healthy foods in the cafeteria
- Turning off the vending machines for the day or filling them with healthy alternatives
- Passing out green apples to all the employees with some healthy eating tips
- Organizing a farmer’s market in the office during the lunch hour
- Replace donuts with fruit and low fat muffins at a breakfast meeting

"National Start! Eating Healthy Day is a creative way to help improve the health of our community," said Sue Ehinger, chief operating officer, Parkview Hospital. "Parkview is committed to providing excellent heart care, and healthy eating is an important step in promoting wellness and overall health. We are pleased to be a partner with the American Heart Association and Physicians Health Plan."

Individuals can participate in National Start! Eating Healthy Day by:
- Bringing your lunch to work so you can control what you eat and save money in the process
- Discover a new, healthy recipe and prepare it for your family or friends
- Have a healthy pitch-in lunch at work
- Make a stop at the grocery store on your way home so you can stock up on healthy snacks and food items

To learn more on how you can participate in National Start! Eating Healthy Day and to download resources for your company, visit www.startwalkingnow.org.

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