The Importance Of Health Education

The Fight For a Healthy Nation


Wayne Chan

The representation of the benefits from completing the health curriculum

Wayne Chan, Photojournalist

Health Education is beyond a simple government imposed curriculum, but an essential method to combat our nation’s prevalent health issues.

The entire curriculum can potentially have a profound effect on our nation. Health education is the most efficient way for our government to equip teenagers with the necessary skills for a healthier adolescence. According to the National Health Education Standards, health education is meant to motivate students to lead a health-conscious life, and promote a healthy culture. People need to regard health education as a lifetime endeavor.

In health curriculum, students learn the effects of tobacco and other substance abuse. Amongst the top ten causes of deaths in the United States are heart diseases, cancer, respiratory diseases, stroke, and diabetes. The culprit behind these illnesses is often tobacco use. Our government has labeled tobacco use as the number one cause of preventable deaths in the United States. Cigarette smoking alone has lead to the death of 480,000 people annually (CDC).

Health education also teaches us the devastating effects of unprotected sexual intercourse, and the prevention of the hidden epidemic of STIs that plagues our nation. According to the Center of Disease Control, approximately 110 million citizens of the US carry around at least a form of sexually transmitted illness, thus capable of further spreading the illnesses.

This curriculum also teaches us mental and emotional health issues. Anxiety disorders are prominent in our nation, affecting up to 40 million people. Depression is the leading cause of disability for people between the age of 15 to around 44. There are other common mental disorders such as Obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder…etc (Anxiety and Depression Association Of America).

Aside from all the major health our nation suffers from, students also learn basic knowledge and benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle, starting with the basic skills of preparing a nutritionally balanced meal. Students learn not to have a sedentary life, but instead to engage in exercises regularly. Students also learn basic hygiene skills and habits to maintain a sanitary awareness. From a psychological health perspective, students can learn to better communicate with their emotions, how to deal with grief, how to reject peer pressure,…etc.

Health Education is a course students should try to excel at. The curriculum is more than a class that teaches you how to properly care for yourself, but a lesson that teaches you responsibility in making choices. If Mr. Gerasimou (Staff), an inspiring health teacher, could leave his students with one concept, it would be that,

“the choices they make today, however small they seem, have an effect in the future, whether good or bad.”