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Health education is a profession of educating people about health. Areas within this profession encompass environmental health, physical health, social health, emotional health, intellectual health, and spiritual health, as well as sexual and reproductive health education.
Health education can be defined as the principle by which individuals and groups of people learn to behave in a manner conducive to the promotion, maintenance, or restoration of health. However, as there are multiple definitions of health, there are also multiple definitions of health education. In America, the Joint Committee on Health Education and Promotion Terminology of 2001 defined Health Education as "any combination of planned learning experiences based on sound theories that provide individuals, groups, and communities the opportunity to acquire information and the skills needed to make quality health decisions."
The World Health Organization defined Health Education as "compris[ing] [of] consciously constructed opportunities for learning involving some form of communication designed to improve health literacy, including improving knowledge, and developing life skills which are conducive to individual and community health."
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✓Role of the Health Education Specialist==
From the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, the aim of public health was controlling the harm from infectious diseases, which were largely under control by the 1950s. By the mid 1970s it was clear that reducing illness, death, and rising health care costs could best be achieved through a focus on health promotion and disease prevention. At the heart of the new approach was the role of a health educator.
A health educator is "a professionally prepared individual who serves in a variety of roles and is specifically trained to use appropriate educational strategies and methods to facilitate the development of policies, procedures, interventions, and systems conducive to the health of individuals, groups, and communities" (Joint Committee on Terminology, 2001, p. 100). In January 1978 the Role Delineation Project was put into place, in order to define the basic roles and responsibilities for the health educator. The result was a Framework for the Development of Competency-Based Curricula for Entry Level Health Educators (NCHEC, 1985). A second result was a revised version of A Competency-Based Framework for the Professional Development of Certified Health Education Specialists (NCHEC, 1996). These documents outlined the seven areas of responsibilities which are shown below. The Health Education Specialist Practice Analysis (HESPA II 2020) produced "a new hierarchical model with 8 Areas of Responsibility, 35 Competencies, and 193 Sub-competencies".
Teaching School Health Education
In the United States some forty states require the teaching of health education. A comprehensive health education curriculum consists of planned learning experiences that will help students achieve desirable attitudes and practices related to critical health issues. Some of these are: emotional health and a positive self-image; appreciation, respect for, and care of the human body and its vital organs; physical fitness; health issues of alcohol, tobacco, drug use, and substance use disorders; health misconceptions and myths; effects of exercise on the body systems and on general well being; nutrition and weight control; sexual relationships and sexuality, the scientific, social, and economic aspects of community and ecological health; communicable and degenerative diseases including sexually transmitted diseases; disaster preparedness; safety and driver education; factors in the environment and how those factors affect an individual's or population's environmental health (ex: air quality, water quality, food sanitation); life skills; choosing professional medical and health services; and choices of health careers. 
School National Health Education Standards
The National Health Education Standards (NHES) are written expectations for what students should know and be able to do by grades 2, 5, 8, and 12 to promote personal, family, and community health. The standards provide a framework for curriculum development and selection, instruction, and student assessment in health education. The performance indicators articulate specifically what students should know or be able to do in support of each standard by the conclusion of each of the following grade spans: Pre-K–Grade 12. The performance indicators serve as a blueprint for organizing student assessment.
Health Education Code of Ethics
"The Code of Ethics that has evolved from this long and arduous process is not seen as a completed project. Rather, it is envisioned as a living document that will continue to evolve as the practice of Health Education changes to meet the challenges of the new millennium."
School Health Education Worldwide
Since 2001, the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports developed a national curriculum on Health Education. The National Health Education Programme in Romanian Schools was considered a priority for the intervention of the GFATM (Global Fund) and UN Agencies.
Shokuiku (Kanji: 食育) is the Japanese term for "food education". The law defines it as the "acquisition of knowledge about food and nutrition, as well as the ability to make appropriate decisions through practical experience with food, with the aim of developing people's ability to live on a healthy diet".
It was initiated by Sagen Ishizuka, a famous military doctor and pioneer of the macrobiotic diet. Following the introduction of Western fast food in the late 20th century, the Japanese government mandated education in nutrition and food origins, starting with the Basic Law of Shokuiku in 2005, and followed with the School Health Law in 2008. Universities have established programs to teach shokuiku in public schools, as well as investigating its effectiveness through academic study.
Major concerns that led to the development of shokuiku law include:
- Schoolchildren skipping breakfast.
- Children purchasing meals at a convenience store instead of eating with their parents.
- Families not eating meals together.
Classes in shokuiku will study the processes of making food, such as farming or fermentation; how additives create flavor; and where food comes from.
Health education in Poland is not mandatory, but research has shown that even with implantation of health education that the adolescents of Poland were still not choosing to live a healthy lifestyle. Health education is still needed in Poland, but the factor of what is actually available, especially in rural areas, and what is affordable affects the decisions more than what is healthy.
- Education for student to enhance their health status
- Assists parents to use health resources and health education information
- Teach students to understand specific diseases and basic medical knowledge
- Dorothy Nyswander
- Health promotion
- Online health communities
- Personal, Social and Health Education
- Physical Education
- Public Health
- School Health Education Study
- Health skills
- McKenzie, J., Neiger, B., Thackeray, R. (2009). Health education can also be seen as preventive medicine (Marcus 2012). Health Education and Health Promotion. Planning, Implementing, & Evaluating Health Promotion Programs. (pp. 3-4). 5th edition. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Education, Inc.
- Donatelle, R. (2009). Promoting Healthy Behavior Change. Health: The basics. (pp. 4). 8th edition. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Education, Inc.
- International technical guidance on sexuality education: an evidence-informed approach (PDF). Paris: UNESCO. 2018. p. 82. ISBN 978-92-3-100259-5.
- Joint Committee on Terminology (2001). "Report of the 2000 Joint Committee on Health Education and Promotion Terminology". American Journal of Health Education. 32 (2): 89–103. doi:10.1080/19325037.2001.10609405.
- World Health Organization. (1998). List of Basic Terms. Health Promotion Glossary. (pp. 4). Retrieved May 1, 2009, frogym oyohttp://www.who.int/hpr/NPHj/ddoocs/hp_glossary_en.pdf.
- Cottrell, Girvan, and McKenzie, 2009.
- "Health Education Specialist Practice Analysis II 2020 Validates and Reveals Eight Areas of Responsibility for Health Education Specialists". www.nchec.org. Retrieved 2020-04-21.
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. (2007). National Health Education Standards. Retrieved May 1, 2009, from https://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/SHER/standards/index.htm
- Coalition of National Health Education Organizations. Introduction. Health Education Code of Ethics. November 8, 1999, Chicago, IL. Retrieved May 1, 2009, from http://www.cnheo.org/code1.pdf
- Goto, Keiko; Murayama, Nobuko; Honda, Sayaka (2009). "The Perceived Roles of Fast Foods and Shokuiku (Food and Nutrition Education) in Healthy and Sustainable Food Practices in Japan". Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 41 (4): S2–S3. doi:10.1016/j.jneb.2009.03.101.
- "shokuiku - Buzzword - Trends in Japan - Web Japan". web-japan.org.
- Mark Frank. "Food and Education II : The Shokuiku in English Project". Bulletin of Keiwa College 15 (2006).
- "Taiwan Health Promoting Schools". Taiwan Health Promoting Schools. Archived from the original on 2014-11-25.
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. (2007). National Health Education Standards. Retrieved May 1, 2009, from Characteristics of Effective Health Education Curricula - SHER | Healthy Schools | CDC
- Coalition of National Health Education Organizations. Health Education Code of Ethics. November 8, 1999, Chicago, IL. Retrieved May 1, 2009, from CNHEO
- Joint Committee on Terminology. (2001). Report of the 2000 Joint Committee on Health Education and Promotion Terminology. American Journal of Health Education.
- McKenzie, J., Neiger, B., Thackeray, R. (2009). Planning, Implementing, & Evaluating Health Promotion Programs. 5th edition. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Education, Inc.
- Simons-Morton, B. G., Greene, W. H., & Gottlieb, N. H.. (2005). Introduction to Health Education and Health Promotion. 2nd edition. Waveland Press.
- World Health Organization. (1998). Health Promotion Glossary. Retrieved May 1, 2009, from Wayback Machine.
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- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA)
- US Department of Health & Human Services (USA)
- National Institutes of Health (USA)
- World Health Organization (USA)