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 the critical skills in health literacy 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, approximately 16% of those campuses met the recommendations. Within those campuses, most students were qualified as economically disadvantaged. Currently, the district also states that some campuses receive as little as 12 hours of health education in a year. As school is a place where a child spends most of their time, it is important for the school board to take responsibility and provide more time and attention in providing quality, health education to ensure that the next generation could be the ones to decrease the mortality rates from heart diseases.