Video: February is American Heart Month: Staying Heart Healthy

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – It kills more men and women than any other disease in America: heart disease. February is American Heart Month and a new study suggest the sweets we eat are leading to heart disease and even death. Soda, juice, dessert and even ketchup. These every day foods are a major part of what Americans like to eat but a new report says these sugary foods are slowly killing us.

Cardiologist Dr. Bart Williams of Columbus says staying active, reducing portion size, and losing weight are three simple things that can keep your heart healthy. Heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women in America. Sugar is a staple in the American diet but research shows that too much sugar is a major culprit in heart disease.

CDC Researchers say added sugar increases our risk of dying from heart disease. After surveying 30 thousand adults, 70 percent of them consumed a tenth of their calories from added sugar. It’s not just sugar. It’s high fructose corn syrup found in drinks like this that cause the real danger.

“Most of the sugar consumed in the US is probably high fructose syrup. That’s what the big agricultural companies make to go into foods as sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup. All the soft drinks, things like that. Cane sugar not so much because it’s more expensive,” says Cardiologist Dr. Bart Williams of Columbus.

Having a balanced diet and getting regular exercise is the key to a healthy heart. Tate Marsh recently suffered a heart attack and says he remains active, but now he works closely with his doctor.

“This June I had a massive heart attack in Jackson, MS while I was playing golf. Then I came back and Dr. Williams is my physician here. He’s go me on a regiment of medicines to keep my blood thin,” says Marsh.

Attorney Bill Cunningham says he discovered that one of his arteries was 99 percent blocked but a stress test caught it just in time.

“If you have any extra weight on your mid section and you ever have to catch your breath for whatever reason doing any activity, get a stress test,” says Cunningham.

The American Heart Association recommends that added sugars be limited to 100 calories per day for women and 150 calories for men.

For more information on how to keep your heart healthy, go to the American Heart Association website at

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