SUBWAY and AHA have launched a new, life-saving initiative in New York City.
The American Heart Association (AHA) has announced the launch of a new initiative to help Americans lead healthier lives. The new initiative, +color, focuses on the positive health impact of fruits and vegetables.
The health impact of +color is simple yet significant: It is estimated that if Americans ate the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables every day, approximately 39,900 deaths would be prevented from cardiovascular diseases, stroke and diabetes and $7.6 billion in medical costs could be saved annually.
On Friday, Sept. 23, the AHA and SUBWAY restaurants, with support from Hass Avocado Board (HAB), launched +color in New York City. This on-going initiative will encourage Americans to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet and better understand the critical health benefits this change can mean.
+color is also critical to helping the AHA achieve its 2020 health impact goal of improving the health of all Americans by 20% by 2020. According to a 2015 study in Circulation, young adults who eat more than five daily servings of fruits and vegetables may have less atherosclerosis than those who do not. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, the average intake of fruits and vegetables for adults under 50 years of age is about half of the recommended intake ranges. Adding one more cup of fruits or vegetables per day closes the gap by approximately 50%.
“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,” stated Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., MPH, RD, professor of Nutrition, The University of Vermont and past chair, American Heart Association Nutrition Committee. “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.”
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables has also been shown to reduce risk of stroke, certain types of cancer and risk of death from all causes. That’s why the AHA and SUBWAY restaurants are inviting Americans to join in this transformative effort by encouraging everyone to start today.
As the inaugural national sponsor of +color, SUBWAY restaurants continues their long-term commitment to healthier eating by uniting in this effort with the AHA. SUBWAY restaurants will ensure consumers understand how their vegetable offerings contribute to the +color initiative by highlighting how the vegetable options available at SUBWAY restaurants can help them add more fruits and vegetables to their meal. In addition, SUBWAY restaurants will support this new initiative through an in-store promotion in 2017.
“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,” said Lanette Kovachi, registered dietitian nutritionist, SUBWAY restaurants Global Dietitian. “At SUBWAY restaurants, Americans can choose from millions of our handcrafted sandwich combinations to create their own custom sandwich, which can offer up at least two extra servings of vegetables to their diet. Each of the six fresh vegetable varieties offered at SUBWAY are a perfect complement to the +color initiative.”
The centerpiece of +color is an extensive series of entertaining videos, social media events and digital interactive information that make it easy to adopt these healthy changes. This can be accomplished by watching and sharing +color content, and adding more fruits or vegetables each day. As a national supporter of +color, HAB’s Fresh Avocados – Love One Today will be a part of the launch as the official “recipe host.” HAB will help expand the initiative’s reach with avocado heart-check certified recipes and tips about the nutrition benefits of avocados.
Expansion of the initiative will kick off at AHA Heart Walks nationwide this fall. Additional elements of +color will include content for fun kids, as well as opportunities for worksites to engage with its employees.