Editorial: Statement to be made wearing red

Feb. 06, 2014 @ 10:04 PM

Wearing red in Raleigh isn’t anything new, but it has more meaning today and happens at the state Department of Public Instruction.

We join the American Heart Association and N.C. Council for Women in bringing attention to heart disease. The council will be gathering today at a Go Red for Women presentation, learning ways to reduce the risks of falling victim.

Heart disease is the second-leading cause of death in North Carolina.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four deaths in North Carolina are the result of heart disease. Another 6 percent die from stroke.

The land of the long leaf pine has had higher percentage rates than the nation for diabetes, cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, high total blood cholesterol, lack of moderate or vigorous physical activity, being overweight or obese and eating fruits and vegetables less than five times a day.

Four out of five North Carolinians don’t eat well when it comes to vegetables. Two out of three are overweight. More than half fail to get recommended exercise.

It follows as no surprise that nearly one out of three are fighting high blood pressure, high cholesterol or both.

Blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and failure to exercise are risk factors associated with daily choices we make. Factors we don’t control, like age, race, gender and heredity, can also be triggers.

Along with the obvious fight against symptoms is encouragement to limit alcohol intake and to limit fat intake. Four servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables will do more than provide a nice daily fill up. It will make a plate healthy, colorful and even fun. Lean meat, such as red meat, poultry and fish, are good in small portions — think a deck of cards.

When picking out clothes this morning, choose the red. Send a statement, a bold one, to everyone in eyesight so they’ll ask why. Then share at least one tip. There is preventative assistance aimed at heart disease and stroke.

Casual Friday can also be an informative Friday. We have one body, and we must take care of it.

Taking a stand against heart disease starts with a change in habits. And for today, adding a wardrobe change that will later prompt a question might just help someone else.