Health Literacy and Public Health Initiatives

doct7Across the world on a daily basis, someone does something unhealthy. This could range from eating a box of doughnuts, choosing the elevator over the stairs or taking a bus ride rather than walking. Although public transport might be a vital part of a person’s life, as they use this to travel to their place of work, there are many who choose not to follow a healthy life and instead decide that eating large amounts of fatty food high in salt is what they want to do. After all, you only live once…

The occasional indulgence is okay but constant consumption leads to the body storing calories, which will turn into fat and lead to weight gain if exercise is not done. It is recommended that a person exercises for thirty minutes a day, whether this is through walking or having a light jog around the local park. However, for some, they might choose not to do this level of exercise because they don’t know how to lead a healthy life because their health literacy is poor.

doct2Public health initiatives on health literacy

One of the most important public health initiatives around, by making sure the population of any country has an excellent rate of health literacy, is normally at the top of the lists of many governments. Just like a child learning how to read, it cannot be stressed enough that a child needs to improve their health literacy levels. Even if the child does not know the different between a piece of broccoli to a bar of chocolate, and they believe that both are equal in nutritional value, this can be remedied through health literacy, by either visiting a dietician or asking a teacher about how to improve their diet.

Even for adults, their health literacy levels can be improved. Eating healthily and practising an effective exercise plan is not rocket science, and by making a few slight adjustments after reading the relevant literature, this can lead to noticeable health benefits. The traffic light system used to determine the healthiness of a meal, for example, is a great public health initiative by the government to better inform peoples’ literacy regarding food and health. Teaching in school is another way we are helped to improve our health literacy.

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