Heart health was the topic of the Red Dress Event at Weber State University’s Davis campus on Tuesday.
Living healthy and fighting heart disease was addressed through informative pamphlets and posters, healthy recipes, nutritional snacks and free blood pressure checks.
The WSU Women’s Center sponsored and designed the event to bring awareness for heart disease in women and encourage healthier lifestyles.
Despite being preventable, heart disease is the No.1 cause of death for women.
“The media has put a lot of emphasis on men being the number one to have heart attacks and heart issues,” said Janaina Sill, a Peer Mentor at the Women’s Center. “But it’s actually women.”
Sill said this is an issue especially close to the staff at the Women’s Center, as one of their members had a mother who passed away from heart disease.
The Women’s Center started raising awareness for heart disease in women last year. Since then, Sill says their events have grown and she hopes they continue to do so.
“We really need to spread the awareness among everyone,” Sill said. “We are trying to get the word out that we need to take care of ourselves.”
Following the theme of going red, a table was set up with foods like raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, cherry Jell-O and cherry tomatoes.
Attendees also had the opportunity to fill out a short survey about heart health and enter a drawing. Prizes for the drawing included swag like Women’s Center mugs, WSU T-shirts and blankets.
Dena Winter, a social work intern at the Women’s Center, says she hopes the Red Dress Event informs and educates students.
Winter says she wants people to know that the signs and symptoms of a heart attack are different for women and men.
Women can experience the pain of a heart attack in their lower chest or upper abdomen. Because of this, Winter said many women are more likely to ignore the warning signs of a heart attack until it is too late.
“When I learned that the symptoms were different for men and women, that was a surprise for me,” said WSU student Kathryn Clark. “So I think it’s a good thing that they’re educating people about that.”
Winter also wants people to be more aware of the foods they’re eating.
Foods high in saturated fat can clog the arteries and raise your risk for heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. A simple diet change can reduce your risk.
“Even though we love french fries and hamburgers, we should be very conscious of what we’re putting into our bodies,” Winter said. “Being healthy and realizing what you’re doing to your internal organs is important because you have a lot of control over that aspect.”
All of Feb. is designated as Heart Health Month by the American Heart Association. Winter said this is a great time to become more aware of your hearth health.
“Maybe vow to be a little bit healthier,” Winter said. “Look at labels when you eat, try to exercise and be healthy so that you can treat your body right.”