WASHINGTON, DC — In a move to raise awareness of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the U.S. Surgeon General, the host from NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” and the American Heart Association joined the Postmaster General in dedicating the 2012 Social Awareness Heart Health Forever stamp.
The stamp plays a key motivational role in a competition featured on The Biggest Loser, airing Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. ET. The episode also includes a sweepstakes announcement to encourage letter writing.
All 50 million of the 45-cent First-Class Forever stamps, available in sheets of 20, are available nationwide today at usps.com/shop, 800-782-6724 and at most Post Offices. The back of the stamp sheet offers heart healthy tips.
The Heart Health Forever stamp was dedicated today at MedStar Washington Hospital Center by U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, M.D., M.B.A., and Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.
“Prevention is the key to eliminating heart attacks and strokes,” said Benjamin. “We are giving Americans information and tools to make healthier choices to prevent tobacco use, access healthy foods and find enjoyable ways to get regular exercise. The Heart Health Social Awareness Stamp and the Million Hearts Campaign are great reminders of the importance of prevention.”
“Nothing touches the heart like a letter from a loved one,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “We hope Americans will use our 2012 Heart Health Social Awareness stamps for writing letters to loved ones and friends.”
Donahoe also referenced the tips on the back of the stamp sheet for maintaining a healthy heart.
Joining Donahoe and Benjamin in dedicating the stamps were American Heart Association Board of Directors member Barry Franklin, Ph.D.; Physician Executive Director of MedStar Heart Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center Stuart F. Seides, M.D.; and, Allison Sweeney of The Biggest Loser.
“The American Heart Association wants to thank the Postal Service for issuing this exciting new Heart Health stamp, particularly during American Heart Month,” said Association board of directors member Barry Franklin, Ph.D. “It’s a wonderful way to deliver an important message to the public — by making simple changes to your lifestyle, you can build a healthier life free of heart disease.”
“We love the stamp and its heart health message,” said Seides of MedStar Heart Institute. “All too often, we see the challenges people face when they neglect or just plain forget to exercise their hearts.”
“Every day our contestants inspire millions by sharing their journeys so we’re very excited for the Heart Health Stamp because it not only shares valuable information but it also encourages show fans to support their favorite contestant,” said The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney via a recorded message broadcast during the event.
Biggest Loser Sweepstakes
As part of The Biggest Loser Feb. 14 airing, the stamp will be the centerpiece of the national “Watch It. Write It. Win It.” sweepstakes. For an 11-week period, viewers are invited to watch, write and win by sending letters of encouragement to their favorite Biggest Loser contestant(s). Viewers may submit an unlimited number of separate letters addressed to one contestant at a time. Letters also can be addressed to previously eliminated contestants from this season. Letters will be drawn at random to win one of three prizes:
Grand Prize: One week, all expense paid trip for two to the Biggest Loser Resort.
Second Prize: Four weeks of Biggest Loser prepared meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) — delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.
Third Prize: Tickets for two with airfare to the Biggest Loser Grand Finale that will air in May 2013.
Sweepstakes information will be available on Feb. 14 at Post Offices nationwide and at this link the day after the show’s airing: usps.com/biggestloser.
Printed on the back of the stamp sheet are tips for maintaining a healthy heart.
Coronary heart disease, or CHD, is the leading cause of death among women and men in the U.S., but it doesn’t have to be. Many cases of heart disease can be prevented. By making just a few simple lifestyle changes, you can lower your risk of developing CHD and help protect your heart for a lifetime.
Eat a heart-healthy diet. Consuming lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and avoiding foods that are high in sodium, saturated fats, and sugar promotes heart health. Such a diet can help control blood cholesterol levels and prevent high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes — all risk factors for heart disease.
Exercise and control your weight. Regular physical activity is important for maintaining a healthy heart, but you don’t have to be an athlete to reap the rewards. Getting a moderate amount of exercise most days of the week will lower your risk for heart disease and help maintain a healthy weight. Ask your doctor how much and what kind of exercise is right for you.
Don’t smoke. Smoking causes your arteries to narrow and your blood pressure to rise, which can lead to a heart attack. No matter how long a person has smoked, quitting will dramatically lower the risk of developing heart disease. If you don’t smoke, protect your heart by avoiding secondhand smoke.
Manage stress. Did you know that prolonged emotional stress can harm your heart? Regular exercise and supportive relationships with family and friends can help relieve stress and improve your physical and emotional well-being. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if anxiety or depression interfere with your ability to function.
Sleep well. Sleep is essential to your heart. Adults who get less than 7–8 hours of sleep each night have a higher risk of developing heart disease.
Get regular health screenings. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes can creep up on you without symptoms. Simple tests are available to detect these conditions, and medicines can be prescribed to control them if diet and exercise prove insufficient.
Other 2012 Stamps
Customers may view the Heart Health Social Awareness Forever stamp as well as many of this year’s other stamps on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, through Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2012-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for background on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.
How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at a local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:
Heart Health Stamp
PO Box 92282
Washington, DC 20090-2282
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes by mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by April 9, 2012.
How to Order First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-STAMP-24 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
P.O. Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
Philatelic Products: visit usps.com/hearthealthy
There are four philatelic products available for this stamp issue:
468761, First-Day Cover, $0.89.
468765, Digital Color Postmark (DCP), $1.60.
468791, Ceremony Program, $6.95.
468799, Cancellation Keepsake (DCP w/Pane), $10.95.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.