Gladdys Arboleda, Hawaii
My name is Gladdys Arboleda and I’m a high school senior participating in my school’s Health Academy. I plan to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner. For my senior project I’m working as an advocate with the American Heart Association to help educate my peers and other members of the public about the role that overconsumption of sugar plays in the development of obesity and cardiovascular and chronic diseases.
My first experience as an AHA advocate was working at the Keiki Tent at the American Heart Walk held in Kapiolani Park in August. I got to talk with lots of keiki and their parents and raise their awareness about how much sugar and hidden calories are in the various drinks that they may consume. I’m even sharing these messages at home with my family. I’ve learned that almost half of all the sugar that we consume on average comes from beverages. In most cases, the calories from those beverages come with no nutritional value.
I hope to help the AHA convince our state’s policymakers to add a one-cent per ounce fee on beverages that have added sweetener containing calories, and to use the money raised by those fees to fund obesity prevention programs in our communities. Obesity is one of the greatest health challenges we face today, and I hope that my work with the AHA will help begin to reduce it in our children and in our adults.
Mahalo for supporting our efforts to improve health in our communities by being a You’re The Cure advocate.