Should Americans Be Concerned About Heart Health? Some Say They Are 'Too Young' to Worry Quaker helps spread the word that it's never too early to start thinking about your heart

CHICAGO, Feb. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- While recent research shows that risk of heart disease can actually appear as early as age nine, according to recent research published in the American Heart Association's (AHA) journal, Circulation, a new survey by The Quaker Oats Company* reveals that nearly two-thirds of Americans (61 percent) are unaware that risk factors for heart disease can begin before adulthood.(1) Quaker, a company dedicated to supporting heart health, wants to help Americans understand that you're never too young nor too old to start taking care of your heart.

The survey also revealed that approximately half (48 percent) of respondents ages 18-24 years old agree that heart health information is overwhelming. That's why Dr. Nieca Goldberg, the medical director of New York University's Women's Heart Program, and Quaker Oats are partnering in an effort to help all Americans better understand that there are easy steps they can take – no matter their age – to help reduce heart disease risks.

"While heart disease is considered a major concern for the aging population, children and young adults tend to be overlooked when it comes to discussing heart health prevention. Most people are aware of the childhood obesity problem our country is facing, but few connect the dots between this epidemic and heart disease risk later in life," says Dr. Goldberg. "It's currently estimated that one in three people has some form of heart disease, which underscores the importance for people of all ages to talk more about living a heart-healthy lifestyle now and to consider making heart disease prevention a family project. With the wide variety of heart-healthy breakfast options from Quaker Oats, Americans can quickly begin to start their day on the right track."  

Steps to a Healthy Heart

Two-thirds of Americans surveyed do not feel equipped to help reduce their risk of heart disease based on their current knowledge about diet, exercise and heart disease facts.  Here are some easy tips to help:

  • What You Can Start Doing.  Start your day off right with breakfast, such as a bowl of 100 percent whole grain Quaker oatmeal topped with fresh fruit.  Just 30 minutes of exercise each day, such as brisk walk with your dog, a class at your local fitness center or running around with the kids, may help to improve cardiovascular health.(2)
  • Know Where You Stand.  New research, tips and tools are readily available all of the time to help better manage your health, including risk of heart disease, and most educational resources are free online. The Quaker Facebook page ( features access to the Everyday Health (EDH) Your Heart Health Toolkit, offering the EDH Healthy-Heart Checkup Quiz, an educational tool to help people understand heart health, plus access to recipes for every meal and more to help people make sound nutrition and lifestyle choices.
  • Show Others the Way.  To celebrate American Heart Health Month, Quaker is donating $1 to the American Heart Association (AHA) for each of Quaker's current Facebook fans as of February 1st and each new person who "likes" the Quaker Facebook page during the month of February (up to $250,000).

Heart-Healthy Options from Quaker

For decades, clinical research has shown the soluble fiber in Quaker Oats may help lower cholesterol as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, yet only seven percent of Americans surveyed mention eating whole grains as a way to help keep their heart healthy. As recommended in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, at least half of all grains consumed should be whole grains. Currently only five percent of Americans consume the recommended amount of whole grains daily.(3)

For a heart-healthy way to start the day, 100 percent whole-grain Quaker Oatmeal is a great breakfast option. Quaker offers delicious options, including three improved signature flavors of instant oatmeal now with 25 percent less sugar and all natural flavors, Hearty Medleys Instant Multigrain Hot Cereal made from a blend of heart-healthy whole grains, including oats, wheat and rye, and improved Quaker Oatmeal Squares now with 9 grams of sugar per serving.

"There is 25 years of clinical proof to show that the soluble fiber in Quaker Oats may help lower cholesterol, which has obvious benefits for the heart," says Marianne O'Shea, director of Global Nutrition at PepsiCo. "Survey results show that 1 out of 5 adults rarely or never think about heart health when preparing meals, which is why Quaker is on a mission to help Americans understand that having a breakfast packed with 100 percent whole grains can promote a healthy heart."

For more information on Quaker and Quaker whole grain oats as part of a heart-healthy breakfast, visit and  

*About Quaker's Heart Health Survey

StrategyOne, a full-service market research and strategic consulting agency conducted an online national survey among 1,000 respondents between the ages of 18 and 64 years old. Completed interviews were weighted by four variables:  age, sex, geographic region, and race, to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population, 18 years of age and older.  Note that all significance tests were conducted at the 95% confidence level.

About Quaker Oats

The Quaker Oats Company has been a leading, trusted company for 133 years, providing the whole grain goodness of oats across multiple hot and cold varieties from oatmeal to cereals and snack bars such as Quaker Life and Quaker Chewy Granola Bars. The Quaker Oats Company, headquartered in Chicago, is a unit of PepsiCo, Inc., one of the world's largest consumer packaged good companies. For more information, please visit

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that each generates more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses - Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade - also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in more than 200 countries. With annualized revenues of nearly $60 billion, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose. By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide. For more information, please visit


  1. Juonala M, Magnussen CG, Venn A, Dwyer T, Burns TL, Davis PH, Chen W, Srinivasan SR, Daniels SR, Kahonen M, Laitinen T, Taittonen L, Berenson GS, Viikari JSA, Raitakari OT. Influence of Age on the Associations between Childhood Risk Factors and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in Adulthood: The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study, the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health Study, the Bogalusa Heart Study, and the Muscatine Study for International Childhood Cardiovascular Cohort (i3C) Consortium. Circulation.2010; 122:2514-2520.
  2. The American Heart Association. Get Moving. Accessed at:
  3. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Page 36. Accessed at:


Candace Mueller Medina

Nisreene Atassi

Quaker Foods & Snacks

Edelman Public Relations



SOURCE The Quaker Oats Company


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