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  • Blog Post: Study Brings Healthy Drink Changes to UVM

    A study by UVM Professor Rachel Johnson has found that a ban on bottled water at the university has actually increased sugary drink purchases. The ban was implemented in 2013 as a way to reduce pollution from plastic bottles. But it has had negative consequences according to the study. These include...
  • Blog Post: Vermont Heart Walk to Highlight the Team Effort that Saved a Local Coach!

    Vermont advocates pushed for passage of legislation in 2012 that required schools to teach students Hands-only CPR and the importance of an AED (automated external defibrillator). Its efforts like these that have raised awareness to the need for public access to defibrillation and a strong chain of survival...
  • Blog Post: Volunteer Peter Evans Found Writing a Letter Makes a Difference

    As the old adage says, “It’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.” Advocacy helps us to speak up and out about issues that are important to us. The more we do, the more our message spreads. As volunteer Peter Evans found out during our sugary drink campaign, speaking up, even on...
  • Blog Post: Setting a World Record During CPR Awareness Week

    What better way to celebrate National CPR Week than to help set a world record on this life-saving skill in Times Square?! Tommy and Julie Watson of Williston, VT traveled to NYC on June 4 th to help the American Heart Association set a Guinness Word Record for Most People in a CPR Relay ! Tommy...
  • Blog Post: It's a Wrap! A Summary of the 2015 Vermont Legislative Session

    This legislative session proved to be one of the most exciting and frustrating. I am incredibly proud of the hard work of AHA volunteers in trying to pass the first in the nation excess tax on sugary drinks to reduce obesity. We made great progress. Preventing Obesity : Though our effort to pass a...
  • Blog Post: Mary Cushman and Michelle Johnston Emphasize Research and Nutrition

    Vermont AHA board members Mary Cushman and Michelle Johnston joined the American Heart Association at our 2013 DC Lobby Day and enjoyed the effort so much, they made a return trip last month. And what a duo these two ladies are! Dr. Cushman, a professor of medicine and researcher at the University...
  • Blog Post: Dr. Barb Frankowski tells lawmakers that a sugary drink tax could make the healthy choice the easy choice!

    Warning that sippy cups were one of the worst inventions ever created, Vermont pediatrician Dr. Barb Frankowski recently urged House Ways and Means Committee members to take action to tax sugary drinks to fight obesity and improve dental health. A portion of her testimony is excerpted below: What...
  • Blog Post: Urge Senators to Lift the Cap on Charitable Donations!

    Please tell Senate Finance Committee members that limiting the amount of funds non-profit organizations can raise in Vermont to fund their missions is the wrong way to raise revenue. The Vermont House has passed legislation that would cap itemized deductions at 2.5 percent of the state standard deduction...
  • Blog Post: Urge Lawmakers to Support Health Care Bill and Advance Legislation to Address Tobacco and Obesity!

    As legislators currently weigh options to fund health care priorities in Vermont, it makes sense to look at funding sources that target health care problems. The Vermont House will be voting on legislation this week to increase the tobacco tax and implement an excise tax on sugary drinks. Urge them to...
  • Blog Post: Getting Some Traction on the Sugary Drink Tax!

    Legislators left Montpelier for their March break with interest hanging on the sugary drink tax. The House Health Care Committee took testimony on the tax as a possible source of revenue for health care reform measures and will likely vote on the tax when they return on March 10 th . Read more here....
  • Blog Post: Cutting Funding for Tobacco Prevention is a Step Backwards

    Despite the historic successes of Vermont’s tobacco control program, tobacco use is still the number one preventable cause of death and disease. While we’ve made great headway, there is more work that needs to be done and the program is at risk. The Governor’s proposed budget would...
  • Blog Post: Campaign to Pass a Sugary Drink Tax Picking Up Steam! You Can Help!

    Campaign Launched at Press Conference! The American Heart Association along with the Alliance for a Healthier Vermont officially launched our effort to pass a 2 cent per ounce excise tax on sugary drinks at a Statehouse press conference on January 20 th . The result? Legislators, media and Vermonters...
  • Blog Post: Tobacco and Obesity - A $550 Million Dollar Price Tag for Vermont

    Though prevention is a lot less expensive than the treatment of chronic diseases, Vermont legislators are now considering a budget proposal from the Governor that would cut $500,000 from tobacco and obesity prevention initiatives in Vermont at the same time the State is spending $550,000,000 on health...
  • Blog Post: Dr. Niels Giddins - Fighting Obesity for the Health of Vermont Kids

    This generation of kids is the first to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Currently, 29% of Vermont's children are overweight or obese. Dr. Niels Giddins is a pediatric cardiologist at the University of Vermont Medical Center and a board member for the American Heart Association...
  • Blog Post: Tobacco Tax is a Win Win

    Vermont is currently spending $348 million each year to treat smoking-related illness, $72 million of which are taxpayer-funded Medicaid expenditures. We need to do more to reduce tobacco use and this financial burden. Increasing Vermont’s cigarette tax by $1.25 is part of the answer. It will...
  • Blog Post: An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

    Theses famous words from Benjamin Franklin can ring true in a whole new way for Vermonters this year. Obesity has become an epidemic, and the health of our country is worse than it’s been before. But in Vermont, we can do something about it. A two-cent-per-ounce sugary beverage tax will set...
  • Blog Post: Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, No Sugar Added!

    Congratulations to Laural Ruggles and the Fit and Healthy Coalition at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital. They’re taking obesity seriously and have launched a “No Sugar Added” campaign. The social marketing campaign helps educate the community about the harms of sugar-loaded...
  • Blog Post: Do You Live in a HEART Safe Community?

    Its Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month. Do you know if your community is HEART safe? The HEART Safe program recognizes communities that meet specific criteria that help increase the potential for saving the lives of individuals who have sudden cardiac arrest through the use of CPR and increased...
  • Blog Post: Medical Students Turned Advocates

    Peter Evans, Christina Cahill and Lana Khuong know there is more than one way to save a life. They’ve organized CPR trainings, worked on tobacco cessation counseling protocols, coordinated cardiovascular research and fundraisers, and helped create healthy living lessons for adolescents. They’re...
  • Blog Post: Sharing Your Story Can Save Lives!

    There is nothing that brings about public and legislative support for an issue more than a real-life story from someone close to home. Your personal stories can make our advocacy issues real by putting a face to a cause. Please share your stories about how sugary drinks or obesity have impacted you...
  • Blog Post: Dr. Jan Carney, Vermont

    The American Heart Association recently released a new position paper on e-cigarettes and reconfirmed its desire for the Food and Drug Administration to take action soon to regulate these devices. Vermonters like the Attorney General, the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont and Dr. Jan Carney, a member...
  • Blog Post: Back to School Should Mean Exercise for Kids of All Ages

    With our kids back to school, are they getting as much exercise as they did this summer? This year, Vermont’s State Board of Education required Vermont schools to offer at least 30 minutes of physical activity to kids a day. Ask your schools what they are doing. Physical activity can be easily...
  • Blog Post: Me, Affected by Obesity?

    Think about whether your life might be affected by obesity. Now think again. Over 60% of Vermont adults and 29% of our kids are overweight or obese. Are you paying for that? New estimates from the Rudd Center for Food Policy shows it’s pretty likely. Obesity-related health care costs among...
  • Blog Post: New crusader in fight to reduce consumption of sugar drinks

    The Alliance for a Healthier Vermont is poised to fight for a 2 cent per ounce tax on sugar-added drinks to fight obesity in Vermont. And our coalition has an experienced leader joining the fight. Anthony Iarrapino will be the sugar sweetened beverage tax campaign coordinator. He has served previously...
  • Blog Post: Burlington event focuses on sugar's impact on cardiovascular disease and health

    The American Heart Association recommends no more than 100 calories or 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day for women and 150 calories of 9 for teaspoons for men. But the reality is people are consuming far more. And sugary drinks are the primary source of added sugars in American diets. Learn more about...