A Crash Course in the Many Types of Health Education and How Health Education Helps You Live Your Best Life
What do restaurant and food safety inspectors, public health researchers, nutritionists, social workers, and epidemiologists all have in common? If you can think of a good punchline for that joke we’d love to hear it, but for now let’s dive into their shared function as sources of health education.
Though it may bring to mind awkward memories of high school health class, health education doesn’t stop when you leave the classroom. So what exactly is health education, and why is health education so important?
What is Health Education?
There are many different types of health education, from food safety ratings to public service announcements; from Houston’s own “Slime in the Ice Machine” evening news segments from the 1990s to Covid-19 press conferences in the much more recent past. Health education spans many industries and services—and takes many different forms—but fundamentally what health education is all about is delivering information to the public that people can understand and use to make healthier choices, prevent illness and injury, and reduce risky behavior.
Health education makes progress towards these goals by increasing public knowledge about health topics ranging from nutrition, disease prevention, making healthy choices, and reducing risky behaviors like substance abuse.
Major topics in health and nutrition education include:
- Mental health and behavioral health, including information on parenting
- Wellness and nutrition, including obesity prevention and reduction of community substance abuse and tobacco use
- Exercise and injury prevention
- Safety best practices, like emergency preparedness tips
- Time-sensitive health alerts, including information on navigating Covid-19
- Care guidance for illness and disease
Why is Health Education Important?
Health education is important because it provides the public with the information it needs to make healthy choices, prevent sickness or injury, and reduce risky behaviors. The goal of health education is to help you live your best life in the best health possible, and you can only do that by staying informed.
Through health education, you can learn to take care of your body and live in a way that promotes, maintains, and restores your health. That’s why health education is a key component of the essential public health services and why you should feel empowered to seek out your own health education through trusted sources such as yours truly, the Hospitality Health ER blog.
How Health Education Can Help You Live Your Best Life
Health Education to Decipher Your Body’s Signals
The human body does not come with a user’s manual, and though your body sends you hints that it needs something in the form of symptoms like headaches or fatigue, these signals can be difficult to understand. The cause and effect are simply not clear to most people without medical backgrounds, and resources promoting health education exist to help bridge that information gap.
If you’ve ever wanted to know whether your symptoms of headache and fatigue are caused by a common cold, electrolyte imbalance, magnesium deficiency, daylight savings time, stress, or just a bad night of sleep, you can understand the value of health education, including nutrition education, and how it can clarify your body’s needs so that you can take the right actions and feel better.
Health Education Helps Prevent Illness and Injury
A quote often cited by professionals who work in the domain of health education is the saying attributed to Erasmus: “Prevention is better than cure.” In other words, it’s better to help the public prevent illness and injury, and to teach the public about why they should avoid risky behaviors, than it is to wait until people develop problems and turn up at the doctor’s office.
One prominent example of health education focused on risk prevention can be found in anti-smoking ad campaigns. Because anti-smoking ads made it basically impossible to ignore the many risks associated with smoking, exposure to these ads actually increased smokers’ likelihood of quitting, resulting in better health outcomes.
Start your health education journey by following along with our Hospitality Health ER blog! We’ve covered a range of topics in internal health, emergency medicine, virus and respiratory topics, daily living, children and youth, and much more. For giveaways, updates, and COVID-19 tips, like us on Facebook and Instagram.