Heart health remains key topic for student journalists

help_your_heartOctober 2014…The Healthy-Heart Program, a special Healthy NewsWorks project on heart health, is entering its second year.

During the 2013-14 school year, student journalists reported on how cholesterol, healthy eating, smoking cessation, stress, and other factors are related to heart health.

“The focus last year was on the risk factors and how activities of daily living could prevent, or reduce, the chance of heart disease,” said Andrea Kenyon, Healthy NewsWorks health literacy consultant. During the 2014-15 school year, she says, student journalists will add to that knowledge base by reporting on such topics as sugar, sodium, and exercise breaks.

“Many kids know they need 60 minutes of exercise a day, but what they don’t know is that you can break up the time throughout the day, to add up to the 60 minutes,” said Ms. Kenyon. She said students will also explore how intensity and types of exercise affect heart health.

Heart disease, an umbrella term for diseases that affect the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body, remains the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The elementary and middle school student journalists in the program will publish their findings in school newspapers to help their schools and communities understand the importance of cardiovascular health and some ways to prevent and detect heart disease.

Healthy NewsWorks receives funding from The Edna G. Kynett Memorial Foundation for heart health-related programming.

—Laura Benshoff


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