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ARTICLE Health Literacy

Approximately 90 million adults in the United States are believed to lack the basic literacy skills to manage their health. They have difficulty finding, understanding and using health information.1

Low health literacy has serious consequences. New research from UnitedHealth Group has shown that those with lower health literacy have higher rates of Emergency Department and hospital use, lower use of preventive care and higher health costs than those with higher health literacy.2

Health literacy is more than simply the ability to read. People who are health literate are skilled at using math, listening, writing, speaking and applying analytical decision-making skills in order to make sound health decisions.3

Today's students will need to take ownership of their health to a much greater extent than their parents. In order to promote health literacy United Health Foundation and the National Education Association Health Information Network have launched a new online professional-development workshop for K-12 teachers.

The course was developed by the NEA Health Information Network with a grant by United Health Foundation. This 60-minute workshop that demonstrates how teachers can weave health literacy content into existing math, science, social-studies and health education curricula.

The course is available at no cost to educators, and education organizations and their constituencies.