American Heart Association CEO Praises Sen. Harkin For HeLP Act’s Physical Education, Nutrition Programs

For Immediate Release:                   

Washington, D.C., Jan. 25, 2013 — American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following statement today on “The Healthier Lifestyles and Prevention America (HeLP America) Act,” introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA):

“Sen. Tom Harkin’s tireless efforts on behalf of prevention are greatly appreciated by the American Heart Association and we enthusiastically support the HeLP America Act.

Prevention is one of the strongest tools we have in the fight against heart disease and stroke.  Investing in programs that propel the use of prevention measures such as increased physical activity, improved nutrition and reduced tobacco use will help Americans adopt healthier habits, and ultimately drive down our nation’s rising health care costs. The HeLP America Act accomplishes this by expanding prevention efforts in schools, communities, and workplaces.

For example, provisions included in this legislation will help make physical education a priority for our school children, a goal we believe is a strong way to help attack our childhood obesity problem and develop well-educated and healthy students.  Other initiatives in the bill, such as a requirement for a science-based update to the Physical Activity Guidelines every 10 years, will also help Americans of all ages boost their levels of physical activity.

While the nation’s nutrition policy has advanced in the past few years, there is still work to be done. We are also glad to see many other positive nutrition provisions in the bill, including an expansion of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, an initiative which helps low-income children have access to these foods, help them learn about healthy habits, and help them make informed nutrition choices.  The legislation also goes a long way to close existing loopholes on tobacco taxes and increase Medicaid coverage to help smokers break the chains of their addiction.

We look forward to working with Sen. Harkin and our partners to advocate for this legislation and improve the public health of all Americans. ”

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Contact: Chris Guizlo, (202) 785-7935
             chris.guizlo@heart.org    


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