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Revista Costarricense de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1409-1429


MAINIERI HIDALGO, José Alberto. Formal Health Education An alternative to improve health and prevent disease. Rev. costarric. salud pública [online]. 2014, vol.23, n.2, pp.124-128. ISSN 1409-1429.

Health is a state of physical, mental and social wellbeing; and the most efficient way to fare for it is by preventing disease. It is recognized that the best way to modify habits is through education and formal education is most effective for this purpose. We expect parents to be responsible for the moral and ethical learning of their children, because values are taught at home and no educational system can say what is right and what is not. However, we also expect them to teach their children about health and healthy lifestyles and this is not acceptable because they cannot teach what they do not know or what they are mistaken about. It is easy to conclude that most of the population engages in unhealthy lifestyles. This can be attained simply by knowing the primary causes of death and their associations with inappropriate habits. Cardiovascular disease is related with smoking, unhealthy eating, sedentary lifestyle and stress, cancer with smoking and ingestion of carcinogenic substances, and pulmonary disease with smoking. The aforementioned and other equally preventable factors are almost all learned by mimicking the actions of parents and tutors. Because of this, it is necessary in order to achieve real change in population lifestyles and conducts, to appropriately educate new members of society. The objective of this essay is to propose the need to institute Health Education as part of our formal education in order to prevent disease and improve quality of life.

Keywords : Health education; healthy lifestyles; education for disease prevention.

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