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Fmr. President Clinton returns home

February 12, 2010 1:35:34 PM PST
It's sobering, the saga of Bill Clinton's health. The man with the extraordinary brain and energy, had, for most of his life, a remarkably ordinary American diet. And by ordinary I mean unhealthy. He didn't get his nickname "Bubba" by eating steamed broccoli.

Remember his stops at McDonald's after "jogging" when he first came to the White House?

But the former President, like millions of other Americans, had the stuff scared out of him when he underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery in 2004. And he saw the light. He lost weight, exercised in earnest, and changed his dietary habits and lifestyle.

Mr. Clinton became something of a role model for how to live post-heart surgery.

And then this. Turns out, about 10% of all heart patients need some type of stent insertion post-surgery. There's a shelf life to all this. Who knew?

Of course when a former President is admitted to the hospital especially when he's young as Mr. Clinton, at 63 it's big news.

But the newsworthiness aside, the bigger lesson from all this may be the education Mr. Clinton's heart health provides to his fellow Americans. The hard truth: More than 2,300 people die in this country every day from heart disease, by far the deadliest ailment Americans face.

And despite the advertising blitz from food makers (can we take another all-natural-good-for-you-no-artificial-flavors-heart-healthy slogan?), we as a country eat horribly.

Obesity in adults and children is epidemic, despite all the calorie and fat content disclosures.

So if the former President can motivate some folks to become healthier ? then he can become the role model he sometimes fell short of becoming during his Presidency.

We'll have the latest on the former President's condition he's now resting at his home in Chappaqua tonight at 11.

Also at 11, our investigative reporter Sarah Wallace finishes her weeklong series on heroin an investigation that took her to Colombia with an extraordinary interview. Ten young recovering heroin addicts, together, talking to Sarah about how they got hooked, and how the drug nearly killed them. It's a disturbing story and should be a wake-up call for any parent who is still asleep on the issue.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's weekend AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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