For the past three years, I have requested that our Nutrition and Dietetics students – in the Medical Nutrition Therapy 1 course – participate in National Wear Red Day. The American Heart Association (AHA) wanted to get the word out that one in three women dies of heart disease or stroke every 80 seconds.
Therefore, they created an awareness campaign that encourages women to make positive lifestyle changes – either to prevent themselves from having heart disease and stroke, or to prevent their current heart disease and blood pressure issues from escalating into the danger zone. Their campaign is called “Go Red for Women.” The AHA has designated the first Friday of February every year as “National Wear Red Day.” It is especially fitting for my N&D students to participate in this campaign now – because by this time of the year, during winter quarter, we have just finished studying cardiovascular disease.
Women tend to be the caretakers and nurturers of their families, including their parents, children, and significant others. The soul of a woman contains her heart, which enables her to love those family members and others with whom she comes into contact. If her heart is not strong and healthy enough, how can she continue to take care of those she loves? With February being the month of love, it is very appropriate to empower all women to take charge of their health today, so they can continue to be around to pass on that love to those God has placed in their lives.
- JeJe Noval, PhD, RDN—Assistant Professor, Nutrition & Dietetics Department