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Diet Coke, Ohio State model heart awareness with fashion show

Chris Scullin / Lantern reporter

Diet Coke teamed up with Ohio State to bring The Heart Truth campaign to the Ohio Union Performance Hall Wednesday with the Show Your Heart Fashion Show. First Lady of Ohio Karen Kasich addressed the crowd on the importance of heart health awareness.

“Everyone in my family, on either side, who has died, has died of heart disease,” Kasich said. “It’s something I’m passionate about.”

The Heart Truth is a national awareness campaign sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which aims to educate women about heart disease.

Diet Coke gave a $5,000 check to the Columbus chapter of the National Black Nurses’ Association to go toward community heart health programs. Afterward, the CBNA offered free blood pressure screenings and body mass index tests.

The majority of the event consisted of a runway fashion show with student models. Information was announced about each model as they walked down the runway sporting outfits that included the color red.

Among these models was Jasmine Smith, a fourth-year in speech and hearing science and the president of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority at OSU.

“With the representation of leadership on campus with the models in the show, I think that alone is going to pull our peers to come out and to open their ears and their eyes as to what the real issue is,” Smith said. “I know it’s a very serious issue that women face.”

Though The Heart Truth campaign is aimed primarily at women, heart disease also affects men. Though most of the models were females, there were a couple of male models at the event.

“I think everyone can relate to that issue in some way,” said Adam Wagner, a third-year in political science and a model at the event. “In my mother’s side, none of the men have lived over 65 due to heart health issues … It’s something that I’m very passionate about and something that I care about very deeply, and it’s impacted my life in a lot of ways.”

“Heart disease is actually the leading cause of death among women, and every 60 seconds, a woman has a heart attack,” said Lisa Field, vice president of region commercialization for Coca-Cola and a Diet Coke leadership ambassador. “Diet Coke is very passionate. We’ve been involved (with The Heart Truth campaign) for five years, driving awareness for heart health and what to do to prevent heart disease.”

Diet Coke also raffled off four Wii Fits to audience members.

“The one thing that people don’t realize is heart disease is largely preventable,” Kasich said. “I know your readers are thinking, ‘This doesn’t affect me because I’m young.’ But it is never too early to start building healthy habits. It’s just like a bad habit that you can’t quit, get a healthy habit that you can’t quit. You’re really never too young to start.”

Twins Dana Langshaw and Grace Langshaw, third-years in strategic communications, were walking through the Union when they saw the event.

“I thought it was an excellent way to promote heart health awareness,” Grace Langshaw said.

Her sister agreed.

“I think it’s great that they matched two things that I love — a good cause and fashion,” Dana Langshaw said. “It makes a very important topic fun and interesting.”

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