image by: Gage Skidmore
Bill Clinton is using his own heart problems to further the mission 'Let’s Move', a national campaign designed to help people make better food choices, get healthier foods in school lunches, make healthy foods more available and affordable, and to encourage children and adults to exercise
Talk about perfect timing! February is National Heart Awareness Month and former President Bill Clinton goes and has a heart attack! Well, kind of, he actually had blocked arteries. But, what better way to bring attention to his new heart health program. 'Let's Move,' is a national campaign designed to help people make better food choices, to get healthier foods in school lunches, to make healthy foods more available and affordable, and to encourage children and adults to exercise.
Clinton, who had quadruple bypass surgery in 2004, was rushed to the hospital a couple of weeks ago after complaining of discomfort in his chest. Tests at the hospital showed that his artery was once again clogged. He had two stents placed into the clogged artery, restoring the blood flow, and was released from the hospital the next day.
A few days later the 63 year-old former President was speaking on behalf of The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization aimed at preventing obesity and heart disease in America. Clinton explained that lack of sleep due to his work on behalf of Haitian earthquake victims had probably contributed to his recent health problems. “Once the Haiti earthquake happened, I didn’t sleep much for a month and that probably accelerated what was already going on with this failing vein,” Clinton said. “What happened to me wasn’t all that rare, but what I have to conclude is I’m not going to do any more weeks where I do three overnight flights because I am going to have to help Haiti for several years. I can’t get it all done in a week".
Clinton said he is back on his feet and he'll continue to work just as hard but will try to manage his stress better. He also used his own heart problems to further the mission of Let’s Move by highlighting the dangers of childhood obesity. "The root cause of this was habits that I acquired in my childhood, mostly the way I ate, and the way it interacted with my own biology and my propensity to produce bad cholesterol which lead to clotting in my arteries. What you're doing today may affect your life for 20, 30, 40, 50, 70 or 80 years," he said.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation points out that over the past 20 years, childhood obesity rates have doubled and can lead to serious medical problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. "When I was [young] I ate too much fried food, too much ice cream, too much everything. Many, many young people are facing exactly the same circumstances I did and unless they change their eating and exercise habits," Clinton added. "They may or may not be as lucky as I was".
When asked about his future plans Clinton said, “I'm not going to slow down because I think that'd be a terrible mistake. I have been given this gift of life by my surgery five years ago, the medicine I take, the lifestyle changes I make. I don’t want to throw it away by being a vegetable; I want to do things with it.” And he does do things. Many things. Clinton runs the Clinton Foundation which oversees The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Clinton Climate Initiative, the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Clinton Economic Opportunity Initiative, the Clinton Hunter Development Initiative, and the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, and finally the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. No wonder his heart can’t keep up!
Stacy Matson is a health enthusiast from Southern California and regularly blogs on Celebrity Health for A Healthier World, as well as contributing to the Best of the Best.
Your Path to Meaningful Connections in the World of Health and Medicine
Connect, Collaborate, and Engage!
Coming Soon - Stitches, the innovative chat app from the creators of HWN. Join meaningful conversations on health and medical topics. Share text, images, and videos seamlessly. Connect directly within HWN's topic pages and articles.