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Are You Ready, Hawaii?

by Joshua B. on Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It’s hard to believe that Hawaii starts a new legislative session Wednesday, January 15. We have been working hard to pass lifesaving policies this year but you are critical to our success. 

The American Heart Association's legislative agenda will include the following topics below:

• Reduce obesity by adding a fee on sugar-sweetened beverages to generate new revenue to help prevent obesity. Beverages with calories added like soda, energy drinks and sports drinks account for 15% of the non-nutritious calories in Hawaii residents’ daily diets. They are a leading cause of overweight and obesity and increase an individual’s risk for heart disease.  Revenue generated by the fee would specifically fund comprehensive community obesity prevention programs.

• Screen all newborns for congenital heart defects. We would like to require that all birthing centers in Hawaii perform pulse oximetry screening on every newborn prior to discharge. Pulse oximetry is a noninvasive, inexpensive screening tool that can detect if a baby has a congenital heart defect and help save babies’ lives.

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