Estimating Health Education Instructional Time Within a Texas Public School District



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Having adequate health education plays a large role for Texas youth in preventing chronic illnesses, considering it is the leading cause of death in America. Raising awareness and controlling risk factors like childhood obesity and hypertension could help with this problem. Setting a child to develop critical skills in health literacy through health education would help them better promote and maintain good health to adulthood. By having a clear curriculum and designated time for students to learn and reach autonomy in their health, students would be on a trajectory to a sustainable and balanced lifestyle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends elementary students from grades Kindergarten to fifth should receive 90 hours of health education in a school year. In this project, a large urban Texas school district was analyzed on the number of hours that each campus spends teaching health education. Out of the 129 schools that were analyzed for the 2017-2018 school year, only 16% of those campuses met the recommendations. The research also compared campuses with high health education hours to its counterparts, looking at percentages of students who are economically disadvantaged, at-risk, and/or minorities. As school is a place where a child spends most of their time, it is important to provide quality, health education to ensure that the next generation could be the ones to decrease the mortality rates from heart diseases.