Although research shows that children’s eating habits are formed before they enter the classroom (children up to two years of age may already have nutritional preferences based on their parents’ eating habits), health education can play an important role. establish healthy patterns throughout life.
Research shows that health education has a positive impact on health behavior and school performance and that the most effective way to improve health literacy is to ensure that health education is included in the health education curriculum at all levels of education.
The schools of EE. The USA They train 54 million students every day and offer not only a way to promote healthy behaviors for children and teenagers, but also a place where they can engage in this behavior, including healthy eating and physical activity.
The United States desperately needs to improve health literacy. In a 2007 UNICEF study, our country ranked last among the 21 industrialized countries for the general health and safety of children. About one in five students are smokers, 80% of students do not eat the five recommended portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and more than 830,000 teenagers get pregnant each year. Two-thirds of the American population is estimated to be overweight or obese.
In addition, our understanding of health and health-related behaviors is often heavily influenced by the media and media images, which can lead to inaccurate assumptions and negative health behaviors and attitudes.
The importance of media literacy for health education.
Self-esteem patterns also develop in early childhood, although they fluctuate when children gain new experiences and insights. Since media messages can affect unhealthy behaviors, particularly among teenagers, a comprehensive health education program must include not only health knowledge but also media literacy in relation to psychological behavior and physical health.
Media awareness, explains Andersen, can help students teach techniques to combat marketing programs that leverage their insecurities to promote negative behavior, exploit stereotypes and misunderstandings, promote positive attitudes and help them learn how they can record and contest information. of the media.
As our perception of ourselves and others develops early and we live in a world flooded with the media, it is important that we first address the conflicts between media values and our values with our children and young people. objective and positive. and consistent.
A comprehensive (age-appropriate) healthcare program would, therefore, teach these different problems at different stages of development. Pre-adolescence and adolescence are particularly relevant phases in the growth of an individual to discover himself and his place in the world, and at this crucial moment, media literacy is the key to a positive and influential health program. Problems affecting positive health behaviors and attitudes should be addressed, especially adolescent girls, including:
• Digital manipulation of the body in advertising:
Almost everything we see in the media has been digitally modified or partially manipulated.
•Objectification of the body in the media:
Sexualized images of men in the media have increased by 55 percent since the 1960s, while sexualized images of women have increased by 89 percent, according to a study by the University of Buffalo. There are also ten times more photos of hypersexualized women than men and 11 times more photos of non-sexualized men than women.
• Average women compared to models:
Today’s models are 23% thinner than the average woman, compared to 9% thinner than the 80s.
We live in a pop culture that not only promotes a hyper-thin posture but also discourages and discourages medium or healthy body ideals
People feel good only looking for healthy food options. They feel they have to resort to drastic (and quick) measures for weight loss,
e.g.unhealthy tension on the body.
For example, a study published in 2006 by the University of Minnesota showed that 20% of women over the age of 20 had used diet pills. The researchers also found that 62.7% of teenage women used “unhealthy weight management behaviors,” he buys
I know the use of diet pills, laxatives, vomiting or skipping meals. Prices for teenagers were half as high as for girls.
“These numbers are surprising and tell us that we must help our daughters feel better and avoid unhealthy weight management behaviors,” said Professor Dianne Neumark-Sztainer. During the five-year period in which the study was conducted
“With growing concerns about obesity, it’s important for young people to know that diets and eating disorders can be counterproductive to weight management,” said researcher Dianne Neumark-Sztainer. avoid using unhealthy weight management practices.”
We must also teach them:
Additionally, the researchers found that women’s use of diet pills in high school almost doubled from 7.5% to 14.2%.
What can health education and media literacy do?
As colleague Dr. Caren Cooper, a researcher associated with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, asking the opposite of the media, stopped for a moment before replying: “Reality, obviously”.
If we do not bring this awareness into our consciousness, we will probably forget and distort our own reality: a culture of consumption promotes nutrition, disturbances food, sexual violence and climate change deniers, “he said.
A comprehensive education in health education in today’s changing world is important for promoting the skills students will have for the rest of their lives, including:
• Develop positive affirmations about the body:
Accept their bodies, accept the bodies of others and show mutual respect. A good practice would be to convince them to write good things about each other without the nice words or descriptions of the dimensions and what they love about themselves, both physical and character traits.
• Understand how important it is to eat well and that it is not a “diet”.
Perhaps the biggest mistake is that it doesn’t matter what a person eats as long as he loses weight. But it does and being slim and healthy isn’t the same thing. What you eat affects diseases that you can develop regardless of size and diets that can help you lose weight (especially quickly) can be very harmful to your health over time.
• Understand the importance of exercise:
people who eat well but do not train technically, for example, can have a healthy weight, but their physical shape is not the same. This means that they can carry too much visceral (internal) fat and not have enough muscle.
• How to reduce stress by participating in activities and other means.
• The importance of sleep.
• The importance of vitamins.
• The importance of media Literacy of not always being “connected”:
The natural environment has great health benefits and too much technology can even be harmful to health.
“We are surrounded by multimedia images for much of our daily life, it is almost impossible to escape,” said IFN Collete representative during an interview with EduCoup. So it is very important for us as a company to think critically about the messages we receive from the media.”
Decoding the overload of dominant messages is therefore relevant to the health of our mind and body. By teaching these skills early, children can practice and maintain positive and life-long behaviors for the rest of their lives.