It isn't just about the chocolates and flowers in February; it is much more.

It is Heart and Stroke Awareness month, and this year the focus is on youth.  Even though death from heart disease in adults has decreased 75%, there is a major increase in childhood diseases which could cause early onset of heart issues and stroke. Obesity, diabetes, and hypertension are three times more common in our children than 50 years ago.

Dr. Norm Campbell, with Canadian Heart and Stroke indicates children are in trouble with foods they are consuming. 

Dr. Campbell says the food industry plays a big part in marketing toward children; the goal of Heart and Stroke Month is to bring awareness to healthy eating habits by restricting marketing and reducing exposure of unhealthy foods to children.

"The environment we live in is very unhealthy, and they don't support healthy choices. About 60% of our foods are processed, and very high in fats, sugars and sodium and deficient in fruits and vegetables."  

He stresses restricting the exposure of marketing of unhealthy food is just a start. Clearer labels of unhealthy foods, taxing unhealthy foods, subsidizing healthy foods, or schools advocating healthy food choices are some policies which could promote better eating habits.

For more information about this initiative of The Heart and Stroke Foundation, click here


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