ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
The Zen Way to Pain Relief
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
CANCER
Herb May Counter Liver Damage From Chemo
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
CAREGIVING
Mild Flu Season Coming to a Close
Coordination Has Led to Quicker Heart Treatment
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Fruits, Vegetables, Teas May Cut Smokers' Cancer Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
U.S. Diet Needs Heart-Felt Overhaul
Restaurant Sushi May Have More Mercury Than Store-Bought Fare
EYE CARE, VISION
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
FITNESS
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Afternoon Nap Might Make You Smarter
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
MEN'S HEALTH
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Add your Article

U.S. Diet Needs Heart-Felt Overhaul

TUESDAY, March 3 (HealthDay News) -- Every level of society must contribute to strategies meant to make it easier for people to eat a heart-healthy diet, according to the American Heart Association.

"Health problems caused by the U.S. diet extend past what people put on their plates to outside influences and trends in behavior that affect when, what and how much people eat. Multiple factors influence what Americans eat at every state of the life cycle," Dr. Samuel S. Gidding, director of pediatric cardiology at Nemours Cardiac Center of the Alfred I. Dupont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., said in an AHA news release Monday.

Strategies to improve Americans' diets should be comprehensive and take into account individual tastes and behavior, family eating patterns, socioeconomic factors that limit food choices, ethnicity and literacy levels, the statement concluded.

The statement outlined specific steps that can be used to encourage good eating habits in families, schools, workplaces and communities. For example:

* Patients could be asked to measure their food consumption and then limit the use of sugar-containing beverages, reduce portion sizes, eat more meals as a family, and make time for physical activity.
* Rather than just specific diet counseling, doctors should support patient lifestyle changes and offer positive feedback for success in order to balance negative messages about unhealthy lifestyle-related risks.
* School nutrition standards need to be strengthened, and the food industry needs to reformulate products marketed to children. Efforts to push for healthier standards in schools require the involvement of parents and lawmakers at the local level.
* Longer-term and Web-based workplace interventions are better than one-time-only and printed literature in changing employees' eating habits. Employers should promote, and possibly subsidize, healthy food choices in on-site cafeterias, vending machines and at meetings.
* Food-labeling laws that require restaurants to post the calorie count of their menu items can help consumers make healthier meal choices.
* Governments can improve access to healthy foods for people with low incomes by offering increased funding for food stamp programs that can be used at farmers' markets, and by dealing with transportation issues that prevent access to healthy food.
* Also, governments could provide subsidies to encourage agricultural production of more whole-grain products, fruits and vegetables, trans fat-free oils, and low-fat dairy products.
* Encourage more research on ways to make healthy foods the preferred choice for consumers. Economic incentives may be one way to achieve this goal.

"The adverse trends in U.S. eating patterns must be reversed. Food choices are influenced on multiple social and environmental levels. With so many consumers eating away from home, we must make it easier to them to choose healthy food in every environment," Gidding said.

The heart association statement was published in the journal Circulation.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about eating for a healthy heart.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, March 2, 2009

Last Updated: March 03, 2009

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