Health on campus: one step further

Simmons College president Susan C. Scrimshaw calls for “healthy living education programs” on college campuses to engage students in lifestyle issues that will help them stay healthy over time. See Health as a priority on campus in the Boston Globe.

In the Health Education Program at Simmons College, for example, students learn lifetime strategies around nutrition and healthy eating, exercise, sleep, stress, time management, self esteem, not smoking, responsible drinking, and preventive health. Part of residence hall orientation is “living healthy as a college student.”

I suppose such programs can’t hurt and are probably helpful. But I’d suggest another class: on how to be savvy health care consumers. It would teach students how to engage with the health care system, including how to communicate with caregivers, how to interpret quality and cost information, how to select a health plan, and how to be a skeptical viewer of DTC advertising.

March 5, 2008

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