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Home » General »   03th May 2010Print

Learning for well being
Our health is largely a function of our mindsets and behaviour patterns, which we acquire through our life journey from family, peers, TV, the Internet, and our communities. These habits have significant bearing on our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. 

Many chronic diseases and health disorders, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and even many types of cancer, find their root causes in our lifestyles and our habits. These diseases are not only impediments to our individual quality of life, but they constitute a serious socio-economic burden. The health costs of obesity in the United States alone are nearly $150 billion a year and are expected to soar to $385 billion annually by 2018. The health and loss of proclivity costs of smoking in the United States are close to $190 billion a year, and the figures are rising. . 

The big question is: Why does the health system pick up the bill for what is fundamentally the outcome of poor education and learning? Any reform of school-based learning should place major emphasis on educating children on the far-reaching risks of what seem to be benign "cool" practices (e.g., smoking, consumption of junk food, Internet and electronic-games addiction, excessive mobile phone use, sedentary lifestyle) and nurturing in them the capacity and desire to make informed healthy choices in their daily lives.

Our call for making education a primary health care provider is reminiscent of UNESCO's declaration several decades back that the first pillar of education must be "learning to be." 
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