For some people, surviving a heart attack is the kickstart they need to make important lifestyle changes, such as exercising and eating better by including more fruits and vegetables, lowering fat and salt intake, and cutting back on fast food.

However, a new study of about 2,500 heart attack patients at the University of Missouri in Kansas City shows that many keep eating fast food after a heart attack.

Researcher John Spertus noted, “Fast food consumption by patients with AMI (acute myocardial infarction) decreased 6 months after the index hospitalization, but certain populations — including younger patients, men, those currently working, and less educated patients — were more likely to consume fast food, at least weekly, during follow-up.”

He felt the main problem was a lack of education about healthy eating upon leaving the hospital. There is so much information they’re expected to absorb when they have a heart attack, that food and diet may fall by the wayside without more aggressive nutrition counseling.

You can read more here.

While it may be unrealistic for some people to avoid fast food always and forever, it does seem pretty counterintuitive to be hitting up McDonalds in the months after a heart attack. Because I was spoiled by having a mother who is a great cook, I’ve never understood why people like fast food so much, but I guess it really is important for nutrition educators to be sensitive to people’s tastes and preferences and at least teach them how to make healthier choices.

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