Education as Leading Social Determinant of Health Essay

2702 Words Apr 23rd, 2008 11 Pages
Introduction: Education and Our Society
The role of education in society has proven to service the people through the spreading of information, teaching of lessons and simply giving the gift of knowledge. With the gift of knowledge, we ultimately give the other the right and the ability, more importantly, to make their own informed choices. An educated mind can go beyond the limits set out by society and can make wise decisions regarding their health, success and general well being by simply using rationale. The level of education one obtains is directly related to the health of that individual, whereby it determines the person’s quality of life and life expectancy. Further more, one may be lead to believe that education is the most
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The correlations between level of education and socioeconomic status, and therefore the general health of an individual, are repeatedly proven to be evident across the globe. Educated Choices for our Health?
Lifestyle choices and behaviours are amongst the factors that are most easily controlled by the individual themselves. It is our choice to smoke, eat foods that are high in sugar and fat and not exercise. These are three of the leading factors that can cause coronary heart disease (N.Gledhill, personal communication, 2004) and yet thousands of people continue to do it because they are not aware, nor have they been informed, of the negative effects simple lifestyle behaviours can have on ones body. If one is not educated about certain facts and insights, how are they expected to make an informed, or even a wise, decision? Therefore, a lack of education has a strong influence on the health of an individual for the reason that they are unable to make proper and healthy lifestyle choices. A study conducted on the association between educational attainment and other determinants of health on the elderly yielded results that showed:

Low levels of education were associated with poorer psychological function (less mastery, efficacy, happiness), less optimal health behaviors (increased tobacco consumption and decreased levels of physical activity), poorer biological conditions (decreased pulmonary function, increased body
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