(Photo: Sherly Rabbani/Josephine Solimene)
Last night, Hoda Kotb hosted the 13th annual Woman’s Day Red Dress Awards in New York City, an event that honors those who have made significant contributions to heart health awareness. Shortly before stepping onstage, the co-host of the fourth hour of NBC’s Today explained why this cause holds special meaning for her.
“It’s important because when we look at the numbers of women who are affected by heart disease, it’s shocking,” Kotb tells Yahoo Health. “And we are so used to worrying about everyone — our kids, our husbands, our neighbors, our best friends, everyone. Then someone will ask, ‘When are you going to the doctor, hun?” And we’ll say, ‘I’ll do it later.’ So I like that this [event] reminds us that we’ve got to make sure we move up on the list.”
Kotb, author of the new book Where We Belong: Journeys That Show Us the Way, also revealed a very personal connection to this cause. “I lost my dad to heart disease, so it’s another reason that I just really want to make sure that we all take care of ourselves in that way.”
In order to improve her own heart health, the correspondent for Dateline NBC admits she’s been doing her best to reduce her sugar intake. “I’ve been trying to eat right these last four days. I’m starving right now, so I’m kind of cranky!” she jokes. “I have an OK diet, but it’s not great. I usually eat a thing of doughnut holes every morning — just because — but now I’m trying not to do that.”
She has also cut out one of her favorite desserts. “I’m not eating the Entenmann’s cakes since I start shaving it — you know how you take a little, and then you keep going, and then you look at it and say, “Oh, my God, what happened?’ So I stopped buying those cakes!”
And Kotb, a breast cancer survivor, has recently discovered a new passion: SoulCycle. “The music is off the chain, and it is such a blast!” she says. “Because the music is good, then you feel good overall. I like anything that makes me feel upbeat and happy. Thursdays at 4:30!”
When Kotb took to the stage, she announced that it was the anniversary of her father’s passing from heart disease.