Tomorrow is “Go Red For Women Day,” a public health campaign masterminded by the American Heart Association that’s celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2013. The campaign is super corporate-sponsored and branded, but there’s a lot of useful information on the go red site: how to identify heart attack symptoms, a heart disease risk assessment tool, heart-healthy cooking substitutions and just tons of general heart disease information.
Here’s the Go Red for Women thesis in a nutshell: Heart disease is the number one killer of American women, more deadly than all forms of cancers combined, but women still lack enough awareness about the disease.
True enough. But if you frame it like that, it makes the major problem lack of awareness. The solution to that quandary is obviously to ‘raise awareness.’ But Go Red doesn’t delve much beyond this point — be aware that heart disease will kill you! Now here’s a pin, donate if you can. Moving on …
When your sponsors are Merck, Campbell’s Soup Company, and Quaker (part of PepsiCo), you’re certainly not going to go around talking about vegetarian diets cutting heart disease death risk by a third, or sugary beverage’s role in the heart disease epidemic, or vegan diets and reversing heart disease damage (see the Caldwell Esselstyn video below). So wear red tomorrow if you’re into it, but keep that stuff in mind, too. Lack of awareness per se doesn’t cause heart disease, our unhealthy lifestyles and diets cause heart disease.