The recognition of childhood obesity as a global health epidemic has placed schools in a position of responsibility as the state shifts from 'nannying' to 'nudging' individuals to adopt healthy behaviors. Health Literacy (HL) is a concept of empowerment, based on the premise that health education can improve people's abilities to make choices about their health and well-being.
The journal of Sport, Education and Society has published the findings of a practice-based, qualitative study of the level of health literacy across pupils in UK schools in an article entitled 'Health literacy in schools: prioritizing health and well-being issues through the curriculum'. Although the results found that both pupils and staff in schools that do not have an understanding of health and a capacity for HL, there is still room for improvement. Health education (via taught subjects) is not statutory across the four Key Stages of the National Curriculum.
The study concludes by recommending that key health messages be delivered through an agenda that integrates current provision for health via the curriculum and other school-based practices.
- Lindsey Kilgour, Nic Matthews, Polly Christian, Jo Shire. Health literacy in schools: prioritising health and well-being issues through the curriculum. Sport, Education and Society, 2013; 1 DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2013.769948
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