Date of this Version
Koptíková, J. (2013). Health and Nutrition Education in Czech Republic. The Nebraska Educator: A Student-Led Journal.
The average one-year health expenditure per capita in the European member states has doubled in the last 15 years. Prevention is less expensive than treatment, and changes in diet and lifestyle remain the most effective way to reduce the financial health care costs. However, European health systems are primarily treatment systems, not preventive systems. Improper diet and lack of physical activity are the most critical factors contributing to the overweight and obesity pandemic. Along with heavy alcohol consumption and smoking, these four factors contribute the most to the development of chronic non-communicable diseases. These diseases kill more than 36 million people worldwide annually, with more than 9,000,000 deaths occurring before the sixtieth year of life. In 2008, The Czech Republic government responded to the deteriorating financial health care situation by installing fees for medical services. In 2004, the Czech Republic Government utilized preventive services by introducing the new educational field of Health Education to the public school curriculum for pre-school, primary, and secondary education. The fundamental role of the Health Education Curriculum is performed through primary education (the only required stage of education for all Czech students). Nutrition Education is a necessary tool in shaping lifelong positive behaviors of students, leading to actively promoting and maintaining health. Nutrition Education is delivered through the Expected Outcomes and Prescribed Curriculum, which are mandatory for the implementation in Czech schools. Czech educators gained the freedom as well as responsibility to determine how to meet the prescribed curriculum.