About the Book

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Heart Disease: The Forgotten Women; Small Steps = Big Gains.


  • Increase education & awareness, empower women
  • Partnership with women-team approach, partner with their healthcare provider
  • Small steps make a difference

Heart Disease is the #1 killer of women, and although we have made significant strides, black women and Latinas are the “forgotten women”.

Compare the statistics: 68% Caucasian women knew heart disease was #1 killer compared to 34% Hispanics and 38% black women.


  • African-Americans are at greater risk for heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases than Caucasians. The prevalence of these diseases in black females is 39.6 percent, compared to 23.8 percent in white females.
  • Among black or African-American females ages 20 and older, 77.3 percent are overweight or obese.
  • The risk of heart disease and stroke increases with physical inactivity. Physical inactivity is more prevalent in women, African-Americans and Hispanics. For African-American females age 18 and older, 55.2 percent are inactive, compared to 36.2 percent of white females.

Source: American Heart Association Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2004 Update

  • Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death for Hispanics, and are responsible for 32.2 percent of deaths in Hispanic females.
  • Physical inactivity is more prevalent in women, African-Americans and Hispanics. 39.6 percent of Hispanic women 18 and older are physically inactive.
  • 71.7 percent of Mexican-American women age 20 and older are overweight or obese.

Source: American Heart Association Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2006 Update

Although the statistics clearly show that women of color are at very high risk of developing and dying from heart disease at much higher rates than their Caucasian sisters, the word about their high risk just doesn’t seem to be reaching them.

Yet every indication suggests that if women of color only realized their risk, they could make vital changes to avert their fate. That’s because the poor heart health of many women of color is directly related to their lifestyles: They’re less likely to eat a healthy diet, less likely to exercise, are more stressed and are more likely to smoke than Caucasian women.

The solution, Heart Smart for Black Women and Latinas, the first and only book that presents a simple, inexpensive five-week plan to help every woman of color get back on the track to a heart healthy lifestyle by taking small gradual steps – starting today.

Heart-health education among women of color is crucial. Trying to live a healthy, happy, productive life while holding down a job and caring for our families can be challenging for even the most motivated among us. So what can these women do? Actually, quite a lot.

Heart Smart will help you learn exactly how following our easy 5-week program can lead you, step by simple step, to a more energized, more active, and heart healthier life.

All too often, self-help books require profound changes in every area of life, all at once –that almost guarantees failure. After all, if it were easy to make significant life changes, we’d all be doing it! Instead, in a gentle, supportive way, this book guides women of color toward making small weekly changes in three critical areas: diet, exercise, and stress reduction.

Let’s face it – so many of us have that classic “all or nothing” attitude. If we slip off our diet and have one chocolate cream doughnut, we think we’ve failed and we throw the entire diet plan in the trash. If we don’t have the time to exercise five days a week for an hour a day, we don’t exercise at all. We tell ourselves: “What’s the use?” We’re all so hard on ourselves, and often feel if we aren’t the stick-thin, physically active overachiever on television, we figure there’s no point in even trying. And the heavier we are, the more hopeless we tend to feel.

By becoming Heart Smart, our readers will learn that any daily exercise or activity is better than being a couch potato. Even if it’s only 10 minutes of exercise every day – what a difference it can make! Any reduction in calories, or any new healthier food added to the plate, is better than nothing at all. Even if it’s omitting just one serving of fried foods, it can really add up!

Our point is that you don’t have to eliminate all of your favorite foods or drastically change the way you live. By taking small steps and slowly decreasing unhealthy habits, while slowly substituting healthier habits – you’ll feel better and also decrease your risk of heart disease. A few small steps equal big gains for your heart and your life.

You don’t have to radically change the way you live to have a heart healthier life. In five weeks, you can lose weight, enjoy healthy meals, start to exercise sensibly, and celebrate each new day you’ll get to see. You can do this by following our 5-week program to a heart healthy lifestyle: Small steps, big gains!

Read the Foreword         Read More Information