Improve Health Education in America

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Why health education is important to Americans?

Health education builds people's knowledge, skills, and positive attitudes about health. It also teachers about physical, nutritional, sexual, and mental health. Not only these healths help benefit people but also improve and maintain their health, prevent disease, and reduce risky behaviors.

Health education curricula and instruction help people learn skills that can be used to make healthy choices throughout their lifetime. It will result in positive changes in behavior that lower people's risk around: alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, injury prevention, mental and emotional health, nutrition, physical activity, prevention of diseases and sexuality and family life.


Categories for Health Education

Why is Physical Education Important?

Physical education is one of the most important subjects we can pass down to our youth and yet it is the least taught. Without physical education we would all be facing numerous health problems and looking at an early grave. In the old days people needed to complete task that required lots of activity keeping them physically in shape and fit. Now days we have new technologies and techniques to make everything easier. Now that task require such little amounts of activity people need to focus more on exercise to keep them in shape with a healthy well-being. Currently people ignore this hard truth and are becoming out of shape living very sedentary lives. Something must be done to help people realize what they are actually doing to their body by lacking activity. America needs change and only can be changed by each individual accepting the fact that exercise is a necessity.


A New Class for High School Students

High School should add a new PE class that actually focuses on kids learning how to stay physically fit. The current rule for high schools is that each student only needs 2 semesters of a PE credit for the entire 4 year high school career. This credit can also be achieved by marching band which obviously doesn't teach anyone how to exercise correctly. To make things worse even if you do take the PE class that is offered it usually just consist of playing kickball or dodgeball. There should be a new class that is mandatory all 4 years of high school that teaches kids the fundamentals of lifting weights and cardio fitness. It should consist of a in-class portion that teaches the science behind the exercise and why it is important, and it should also have a portion of the class that is spent in the gym showing kids the right way to exercise by cardio and weights. Some of the tops reasons for people not going to the gym is that it is overwhelming, their not in the habit of working out, or the don't see any results. This class would teach kids so it won't be overwhelming, it will make it a habit for them, and it will maximize their results creating a more fit America.


Why is Sexual Education Important?

Comprehensive sexual education is important because it teaches students about everything regarding sex and does not disregard any aspect of it. Comprehensive sexual education is defined by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States as sexual education that “includes age-appropriate, medically accurate information on a broad set of topics related to sexuality including human development, relationships, decision-making, abstinence, contraception, and disease prevention.”

So what’s the problem?

-No states are mandated to cover sexual education in their school districts.

-There is no national standard set for the information covered in the sexual classes.

-Many of the sexual education course instructors are volunteers or peer educators.

Why is this a problem?

This is a problem because as the states are not mandated to provide sexual education in their school districts. And if they do choose to cover sexual education they are allowed to decide what information they will cover. For instance, many of the Southern states (ie, the Bible Belt) do not choose to cover sexual education or cover only abstinence only sexual education. They do not have professionals teach these classes and they do not cover all of the information that is pertinent to sexual activities. Although abstinence is an effective method of preventing the spread of various sexually transmitted infections and unwanted teenage pregnancies, it is not an ideal solution for current generations. As you can see in the third graphic pictured below the Southern states that typically either teach abstinence only or do not teach any sexual education at all have the highest teenage birth rates. However in states that provide a more comprehensive sexual education tend to have a lower teenage birth rate, such as New York and California. In the first link listed below, you can see the different requirements each state sets for their given school districts. Many of the states that stress abstinence and cover no other methods of protection have higher teenage birth rates.

So how can we solve this problem?

This problem can be solved by introducing a mandated, national standard for each state to follow regarding sexual education. This standard will set medically accurate, and all-encompassing sexual education as the required means of sexual education. Every part listed in the definition of comprehensive sexual education must be covered by each school. In addition to having this standard, this policy will require that schools hire a health professional to teach the course and not have volunteers who are not fully educated in the course teach sexual education to the students. The professionals will present the material in a professional and unbiased manner. By providing all of this information, students will have a better understanding of sexual activities and its consequences. This information will allow the students to make better decisions regarding sexual activities and will overall lower the occurrences of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. These statistics can be seen in the second link listed below. This link shows the difference between teenagers today and teenagers from a few decades ago. This policy will also require sexual education to begin earlier in the lives of students. Sexual education will start around third grade. By presenting this information in an age-appropriate manner, the students will handle the topic with more maturity than students currently handle the topic of sexual activities. This maturity will lead to better communication with parents and the parents’ involvement will also help the students understand the content better.

Comprehensive sexual education is by far the best method for delivering sexual education to students. This method provides a more mature outlook on the topic of sex, better prevents the spread of sexually transmitted infections, and will lower the occurrence of teenage pregnancies in the United States.


Why We Need to Improve our Mental Health Education

First, some understanding of how the brain works is necessary. The brain is one of the most complex organs in our body and “is made up of more than 100 billion nerves that communicate in trillions of connections called synapses” (“Brain (Human Anatomy)”). This amount of complexity leaves us dumbfounded most of the time. If you were to ask someone about how they can build muscle they could surely tell you, but they couldn’t if you asked them about how they can improve their brain. Not many people know how their chemical balances can affect them. There are, however, tests that can tell you what brain deficiencies you have. Path Medical has a basic quiz posted online that shows what chemicals your brain lacks and what effects that has on your body (“Brain Quiz”). This type of test is not well circulated in our education system which is surprising.

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Problem: How can the most important organ in our body receive so little attention in public schools? Mental education is extremely neglected in our public school system. The National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula provides an extensive outline of what can be taught (“National Standards”). This curricula isn’t being taught, or if it is it isn’t being covered comprehensively. It is difficult to teach on all of the basic topics of psychology in a single course. An understanding of how my own brain works allows me, personally, to perform better in college. A basic psychology class my sophomore year taught me an incredible amount of information on how brains function. That class allowed me to reassess how I studied, slept, and generally spent my time so that I could become more efficient mentally, but I still don’t know much. Knowing more about my brains would have better prepared me for higher education, but that education was missing from my upbringing. No matter what professional field you pursue in your career you will need your brain. Knowing how it functions, what it can do, what it can’t do are all vital pieces of information that can bolster any career. High school students can go into any type of industry, so wouldn’t it help if they learned information that would help them no matter what?

Solution: Luckily, we can change how our public schools approach mental education. My policy would require all high school graduates to complete a minimum of two mental health courses to graduate. These courses would teach students on the traditional understanding of how brains function in tandem with the National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula (“National Standards”). Students will receive traditional education on brain parts and associated function. The second course will require students to participate in brain training exercises so that they understand that their own mental capacity can be improved. Luminosity is a company that provides a program to train you brain to expand its capability (“Completed Research”), and a similar program would need to be implemented in the second course to circumvent neuroplasticity. A TED talk by Joshua Foer shows how you can improve your memory by tricking your brain into using spatial memory (Foer). This part of the policy will remain more flexible to allow for the latest and greatest advances in the field to reach students as soon as possible.

Emily Greco - Lumosity Commercial

With all of the recent advances in brain understanding, we should be able to educate our children better than we are. Mental health is one of the most important aspects of our lives, but it is one of the most neglected in our education system. The brain is extremely complex, but we should still know the simplest of brain functions. My policy attacks this deficiency in the public school system and can lead to a more enlightened population. My policy isn’t simply aimed at increasing knowledge about the brain, it’s aimed at understanding it so that we can continue to foster a culture of self-improvement in our youth by letting them work to improve the most vital aspect of their bodies: their mind.

Why is nutritional education important?

Nutritional education is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Combined with physical activity, you diet can help you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as hearth disease and cancer and promote your overall health. Not only do you have a healthy lifestyle but the living cost in the long-term is cheaper than paying for low nutrition foods which could lead to higher health risks. With a healthy lifestyle, you can live longer with lower health risks.

Problem: People need to be inform about nutrition in order to live a healthy lifestyle. According to the "Health AliciousNess" by Okra, 32.5% of U.S. population eats 2 or more fruits per day and 26.3 % of U.S. population eats 3 or more vegetables per day in 2009. Fruits and vegetables are examples of foods with low-energy density which makes you feel full. Reducing the amount of saturated fats, cholesterol and add sugars, which are high-energy density. Nutrition practices differ among radical, ethnic, and income groups.

Benefits: There are benefits in knowing about nutrition education in your lifestyle. Good nutrition is important for growth and development of children. It is better to spend more money on healthier foods compare to cheaper low nutrition foods because you would save money on expensive health bills of future diseases or cancer. According to the "Healthy People 2020", Odgen states that health conditions include overweight and obesity, malnutrition, iron-deficiency anemia, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, oral disease, constipation, and some cancer. Individuals who are at healthy weight are likely to experience problems such as lower chronic disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and some cancer, women experience complications during pregnancy, and not die at early age.


1.) Support programs and policies to increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables. We should discourage eating low nutrition foods by considering sales taxing soft drinks and snack foods.

2.) Promote better nutrition through community education programs and media campaigns. Consider legislation to require nutrition labeling for websites and social media websites.


Works Cited Page

Physical Education

Eber, Lorie. "3 Real Contributors to the Obesity Epidemic." Huffington Post7 Apr. 2015. Web. 16 Apr. 2015. <>.

Radcliffe, Shawn. "Physical Inactivity Kills! ... As Much as Smoking." Men's Fitness. Web. 16 Apr. 2015. <…-as-much-as-smoking>.

"How Technology and Inactive Lifestyles Are Changing Our Children." The Guardian. 30 Aug. 2014. Web. 21 Apr. 2015. <>.

Rimmer, James. "Sedentary Lifestyle Is Dangerous to Your Health : NCHPAD - Building Inclusive Communities." National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD). Web. 21 Apr. 2015.


Jaines, Kira. "Ten Reasons People Do Not Exercise." LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 21 Aug. 2013. Web. 21 Apr. 2015. <>.

Sexual Education

Beck, Julie. "When Sex Ed Discusses Gender Inequality, Sex Gets Safer." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 27 Apr. 2015. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. < gender-inequality-sex-gets-safer/391460/>.

Klein, Rebecca. "These Maps Show Where Kids In America Get Terrifying Sex Ed." The Huffington Post., 08 Apr. 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. < requirement- maps_n_5111835.html>.

Paglia, Camille. "Put the Sex Back in Sex Ed." Time. Time, 13 Mar. 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. < back-in-sex-ed%2F>.

"Sexual Health of Adolescents and Young Adults in the United States." Sexual Health of Adolescents and Young Adults in the United States. Women's Health Policy, 20 Apr. 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <>.

"State Policies in Brief: Sex and HIV Education." Guttmacher Institute. Guttmacher Institute, 01 Apr. 2015. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <>.

Mental Health Education

"Brain (Human Anatomy): Picture, Function, Parts, Conditions, and More." WebMD. WebMD, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <>.

"Brain Quiz." Pathmed. Path Medical, 1 Jan. 2008. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <>.

"Completed Research behind Lumosity." The Human Cognition Project. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <>.

Foer, Joshua. "Feats of Memory Anyone Can Do." TED. TED, 1 Feb. 2012. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <>.

"National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula." Http:// American Psychological Association, 1 Aug. 2011. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <>.

Nutritional Education

Verduin, Patricia, Agarwal, Sanjiv, and Waltman, Susan. “Solutions to obesity: perspectives

from food industry.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. July 2005: vol. 82 no. 1

2595-2615. Web. 26 Apr. 2015.


Ogden CL, Yanovski SZ, and Carroll MD. “Nutrition and Weight Status.” 2020 Topcis & Objectives.” Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. 4 Apr. 2015. Web 26 Apr. 2015.


American Psychological Association. “Promoting Healthy Behaviors to Prevent Obesity and

Unhealthy Weight Control in Our Youth.” American Psychological Association. Feb. 2009. Web 26 Apr. 2015.