Blood Pressure Block Party Offers More Than Screening
More than 60 million Americans have high blood pressure, yet only half that number are aware of it. Rather than wait for people to come into a doctor’s office to have their blood pressure checked, PCRM doctors and nurses go into the community, offering free blood pressure screenings. They also serve free food—low in sodium and totally vegetarian—to help bring blood pressure down.
Most people are aware of the link between salt and blood pressure, but many do not know that there is more they can do. Research has clearly shown that blood pressure drops within weeks of beginning a vegetarian diet. Whether this effect is due to the low fat content or the high potassium content of vegetables and fruits, many people can use diet to steer clear of medications and their side effects.
In the Washington, D.C., Block Party, PCRM’s Neal Barnard, M.D.; Rhoda Ruttenberg, M.D.; Elizabeth Powell, R.N.; Sharon Gray, R.N.; and Nancy Ovanji, R.N., checked blood pressures, while Stephanie Sarkis, Gowri Koneswaran, Patricia Bertron, R.D., and Meredith Mohr served veggie chili, pasta salad, and summer greens prepared by Coy Dunston.
PCRM’s Blood Pressure Block Parties are being scheduled for other cities. Special thanks to PCRM’s volunteers and to Fantastic Foods, Fresh Fields, and Giant Foods for their generous donations.