For many years now, UEFA has worked with the World Heart Federation, European Healthy Stadia Network and the football family across Europe to promote healthy active lifestyles.
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UEFA's work to encourage healthy living alongside partner organisations the World Heart Federation, European Healthy Stadia Network and the wider European football family takes priority on Tuesday when World Heart Day 2015 is celebrated.
The global World Heart Day annual campaign is one of the initiatives supported by UEFA, as the partnership calls on football fans to participate in regular physical exercise and to adopt a healthier diet in order to prevent obesity and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
CVD, including heart disease and stroke, is the world's number one killer. Each year, CVD is responsible for 17.3 million premature deaths, and by 2030 this is expected to rise to 23 million. Yet most premature deaths caused by CVD can be prevented by addressing risk factors such as tobacco use, physical inactivity and unhealthy diet.
That's why this year, for World Heart Day 2015 on 29 September, we have asked some of the best European footballers how important their diet is for optimum performance on the pitch.
Defender Nacho Monreal from Arsenal commented, "
Nutrition plays a very important part when it comes to physical condition. From a young age, you are surrounded by nutritionists at your club, who you get ideas from to be in your best possible condition." Watch the video and listen to more players on the topic, including Ivan Rakitić, Álvaro Arbeloa and Verónica Boquete.
Dr Salim Yusuf, president of the World Heart Federation, explained the importance of World Heart Day: "We have an opportunity to reduce the burden of heart disease and stroke by encouraging and supporting healthy heart choices for everyone, everywhere. I urge everyone to join us and get involved, no matter how small the effort, it all counts."
Through the partnership's Eat For Goals! smartphone app, children can also learn about the world's top footballers' favourite healthy recipes – with contributions from Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba and Lotta Schelin among others. Available in both English and Spanish, the app provides food facts and step-by-step instructions to make delicious and balanced meals in no time at all.
To find out more about this year's World Heart Day and to get involved, please visit: www.worldheartday.org.