ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Traditional Chinese Therapy May Help Ease Eczema
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some
Fall Sports Peak Time for Lower Leg Damage
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
CANCER
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
Papaya Could Be a Cancer Fighter
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
CAREGIVING
Caring for Aging Loved Ones Can Be a Catch-22
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Coffee or Tea Consumption May Lower Stroke Risk
'Organic' May Not Mean Healthier
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
Accumulated Lead May Affect Older Women's Brains
Greener Neighborhoods Mean Slimmer Children
EYE CARE, VISION
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
FITNESS
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
Avoiding a Holiday Season of Discontent
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
It Pays to Eat Less as You Age
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
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
Fish Oil Supplements Help With Heart Failure
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
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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