Heart Association Encourages More Colorful Eating

The American Heart Association is making sure you get your daily dose of fruits and veggies with its +color initiative.

To get Americans to begin eating an extra cup—or two servings—of fruits and vegetables a day, the American Heart Association has launched the +color initiative.

Using videos, social media events, and digital interactives, +color will show how eating more fruits and veggies can reduce the risk of heart diseases, stroke, and diabetes.

“Through +color, we’ll empower communities and consumers of all ages, especially millennials, to eat more fruit and vegetables. We want to push the perceived limits and perceptions around what people think is healthy to what is actually going to help them improve their diet. It’s about adding colorful, nutritious, and vitamin-packed fruit and vegetables to meals instead of choosing unhealthier options,” Dr. Rachel Johnson, nutrition professor at University of Vermont and past chair of the AHA Nutrition Committee, said in a statement. “It’s about showing America how easy it is to get more of these vital foods into their diet each day and how easy it is to share this information everywhere they go with everyone they know. This information has the power to help save lives.”

People under 50 are currently only eating half of their recommended fruit and vegetable servings, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. If they were to add an extra cup to their daily intake, that would close the gap by about 50 percent.

SUBWAY restaurants helped launch the initiative in New York City on September 22 with a +color food truck.  Parked at Union Square, The TODAY Show’s meteorologist Dylan Dreyer and other participants handed out free fruit and vegetable skewers, salads, popsicles, and flatbread sandwiches.

“SUBWAY restaurants is inspired to join the American Heart Association on this exciting journey to encourage Americans to eat more vegetables and promote healthier eating,” SUBWAY restaurants Global Dietitian Lanette Kovachi said in the release. The following day, AHA launched a YouTube-based video series, some featuring Dreyer and others asking people which fruit or vegetable they would be. Viewers are encouraged to participate in the initiative by sharing the videos on social media using #addcolor.

With the help of Hass Avocado Board, AHA will also publish recipes that help add more fruits and veggies, namely avocados, into a daily diet. In addition, there will be ways for children to interact with the initiative, as well as programs for workspaces to engage employees.

The +color initiative, which is another part of AHA’s Healthy for Life 20 by 20 initiative, will be further expanded during this fall’s nationwide Heart Walks.


Alex Beall

By Alex Beall

Alex Beall is an associate editor for Associations Now with a masters in journalism and a penchant for Instagram. MORE

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