Dress in red for little hearts

STAFF REPORTER

This February the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSFSA) is celebrating Valentine’s Day with the aim of making a difference by saving the hearts of children, as good health starts at a young age.

The funds raised through the foundation’s Dress Red campaign will go towards its school tuck shop programme targeting schools especially in underserved communities around South Africa. This is a free service aimed at helping children eat healthy.

The risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and other lifestyle diseases develop at an early age when children are exposed to unhealthy foods laden with sugar, salt, bad fats, fizzy drinks and highly processed foods that are far from natural and wholesome.

The foundation said more than half of children don’t take a lunchbox to school, meaning that many are often eating unhealthy foods from the tuck shop or vendors.

As a result, 1 in 4 children is already overweight or obese.

These children are more likely to remain obese throughout their adult life, and are putting their health at risk from a young age.

As children spend most of their day at school, improving the school environment – such as the school tuck shop or canteen – can encourage healthy habits and lay the foundation for lifelong practices of healthier eating, thus promoting good health during their adult years.

The HSFSA tuck shop programme helps schools offer healthier food options to their pupils, enabling children to make better choices.

The foundation’s dietitians guide schools through the process to adapt their existing menu in a manner that is cost-effective and practical.

Registered schools also receive regular updates through a quarterly newsletter, Break Time, which offers further nutrition and health tips for teachers, parents and pupils.

So join the foundation this Valentine’s Day and Dress Red to make a difference, and stand a chance to win fabulous prizes for individuals, corporate teams and schools.

To enter the competition, buy a Dress Red sticker for R5 and wear red on the day of love. Send the foundation your pictures – the best picture in each category could win a prize.

To place an order for your stickers, contact the foundation offices on 021 422 1586 or email to heart@heartfoundation.co.za

For more information on the competition you can visit www.heartfoundation.co.za, or visit the Facebook page or /HeartStrokeSA.

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