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New Zealand A Heart Disease Leader At Apec

Of all the Apec countries represented at this week's gathering, New Zealand has the second highest rate of deaths from coronary heart disease

- New Zealanders are more likely to die from a heart attack than people from almost every other country around the APEC table in Auckland this weekend, says the National Heart Foundation of New Zealand

- As APEC leaders meet at the start of In New Zealand over 8,000 people die of heart-related causes each year - that's about 219 per 100,000* - In Russia the figure is nearly twice this at 426 per 100,000

- The United States is next to New Zealand in heart disease- related deaths. In the US 200 per 100,000 people die of heart related- causes

- Next on the list is Australia with 197 deaths per 100,000, followed by Singapore with 195 and Canada with 169

- Further down the list are Mexico with 140 deaths per 100,000 and China and Hong Kong which have 81 deaths each

- The real winners in the heart stakes are Japan with just 45 deaths per 100,000 and Korea with just 32

- National Heart Foundation Medical Director, Associate Professor Boyd Swinburn, says heart disease kills more people in New Zealand than any other disease or condition

- Dr Swinburn says it's because we don't take care of our heart-health - our diet is too high in animal fats, many of us are obese or overweight, we don't get enough exercise and we smoke

- He says the good news is that we can readily lower the risk by making changes in our diets and lifestyles

- He says we can celebrate Heart Week and APEC by making a resolution to "immunise" ourselves against the heart disease epidemic by eating a balanced diet - including having a low-fat breakfast each day - and by being physically active (eg: climbing the stairs at work rather than taking the lift) and by not smoking

*Age standardised

Apec Makes Smart Choice With Menus

Dining out APEC-style has been given the thumbs up by the National Heart Foundation of New Zealand.

- When the world leaders have dinner at the Auckland Town Hall on Sunday and gather for lunch at the Wintergarden Pavillion in The Domain on Monday, they will be heading into Heart Week on a heart-healthy note

- In fact, almost all the dishes on the Apec menus would qualify for the Heart Foundation's Smart Choice restaurant programme

- The menus are proof that healthy eating sits well on the same plate as innovation and tantalising taste, says the Foundation's National Catering Programme Manager Bev Watson

- "The APEC menus feature fresh ingredients, healthy cooking methods and innovative food. Some people still have the perception that healthy eating is boring or down in the taste stakes. These menus are further proof that food can be appetising, delicious and healthy at the same time"

- Smart Choice was launched earlier this year by the Heart Foundation to help people identify and make healthy food choices when dining out. The programme encourages chefs to provide healthy choices. A heart symbol denotes these items on menus

- Bev Watson says "In the APEC kitchen they'll be using healthy cooking methods such as steaming and grilling rather than deep-frying. The menus offer nutritious choices, a good selection of vegetables and while we want to offer our overseas guests the chance to sample our ice-cream and cheese, we also give them the choice of fresh fruits."

ENDS....

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