Volume 1 (2008)
Aguado Loi et al.: Stress Management with University Students in Canada, US, and Germany: A Multinational Health Education Analysis
Authors: Claudia X. Aguado Loi, Nicole Spencer, Anke Willam
Abstract: Research has demonstrated that high levels of stress are prevalent for students at post-secondary institutions. Supported by the cognitive stress theory, the consequences of stress can have a significant impact on mental and physical health. This article outlines the current state of stress among students in Canada, the United States, and Germany, as well as stress management programming in three universities. The application of the World Health Organization’s health promoting university (HPU) framework was used to analyze and provide recommendations to current university stress management approaches. Although diversity in the settings of the various countries is evident, this coordinated approach recognized improvement in student health literacy as necessary to improve stress management efforts. Furthermore, the HPU framework is identified as a potentially useful tool to improve stress management strategies in university settings.
Bowie et al.: Promoting Community Food Security Ecosystems to Address Inadequate Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Urban Populations
Authors: Lori Bowie, Milena Wohlgemuth, Dale O. Ritzel
Abstract: This paper identifies challenging factors that influence diet and nutritional health trends faced in developed countries and it highlights a variety of effective community food ecosystems in place in urban areas of Canada, Germany, and the United States. Further, recommendations for health education initiatives and future research, as well as community actions to develop environmentally sustaining systems that will enable adequate intake of fruits and vegetables by all community members, including disadvantaged populations, are outlined. Some cross-cultural comparisons are made among Canada, Germany, and the United States. It concludes that sharing community food system research and best practices at all levels, locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally will help to broaden the application of successful education campaigns, programs, practice, and policy to empower individuals to eat, grow, and purchase fruits and vegetables and ultimately, to adopt a healthy diet.
Fastrich et al.: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine: The Educational and Marketing Campaigns in Canada, the United States, and Germany
Authors: Hanna Fastrich, Pascale C. Jean, Challayne Kenney
Abstract: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common genital infection worldwide and is responsible for 99% of cervical cancers. Cervical cancer is considered one of the most preventable female cancers, yet there are 500,000 new cases diagnosed in women each year. The relationship between certain type of HPV and cervical cancer has lead to the development of a vaccine, Gardasil®. This paper reviews and compares the educational and promotional campaigns about the HPV vaccine in Canada, United States, and Germany. Mass media are used to promote the vaccine to the same targeted population in all three countries. The vaccine is promoted as cervical cancer prevention in both the United States and Germany and does not focus on HPV prevention. In Canada, the campaign along with an HPV campaign was launched to educate young women about prevention. Although the campaign aimed at educating youth about sexual behavior, it took an approach, focusing on the shame of acquiring the disease. Because health and education issues are determined at a provincial level, in Canada, the federal government pledged $300 million for vaccination programs. There are no federal laws in the United States that require HPV immunization of children. School and childcare laws for immunizations are state laws and vary state- to-state. In Germany, the HPV vaccine was included in the children’s vaccination schedule. Cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates have been radically decreased with the advent of screening programs in Canada, the United States, and Germany. The virus affects men and women, but the vaccine is currently available only for girls. To be effective, the HPV vaccine should be used in conjunction with safer sexual practices and prevention guidelines. Moreover, improving health literacy may encourage skill development for behavior change.
Gennari et al.: Prostitution and Health: A Comparative Overview of the United States, Canada and Germany
Authors: Fabiana Gennari, Brian Vesely, Meredith Tenouri, Janina Bröcker
Abstract: Prostitution and sex trafficking are complex social and public health issues with international reach. Prostitution is practiced in countries where it is legal such as the Federal Republic of Germany. Prostitution is also practiced in countries where it is a predominantly illegal or functionally illegal practice such as the United States and Canada, respectively. To maintain the supply of prostitutes, the illegal practice of sex trafficking has been employed to deceive and coerce women and men into forced prostitution in both legal and illegal areas. Historically, most legislation and intervention that these governments have targeted at the practice of prostitution have been focused on the prevention and regulation of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The physical and mental health effects on prostitutes are much more varied then are the STDs. There are several intervention organizations that work with prostitutes to aid them in aspects of health literacy, social services, and getting out of prostitution. However, the public health problems created by prostitution and sex trafficking are still pervasive and requires international will and cooperation by the governments of the world and NGOs to address the problem effectively. Effective and sustainable health education programs may promote health literacy through skills-based learning.
Hayos et al.: Youth Homelessness in Canada, Germany, and the United States: A Cross Cultural Comparison and Exploration of Health Literacy as a Means of Prevention
Authors: Julia Hayos, Mary Riley, Jonathan Hense, Jens Wiechmann
Abstract: Because of its multiple pre-disposing factors and statistical potential for adverse outcomes, youth homelessness is a significant problem which transcends national borders. An overview and comparison of youth homelessness in Canada, Germany, and the United States (U.S.) illustrates that the problem of youth homelessness is not confined to any one country. An examination of the prevalence of youth homelessness indicates that statistics gathered are vague and widely ranged for all three countries. The definitions of homeless youth are numerous; however, the underlying theme is consistent. Common predisposing factors and socio-environmental influences on youth homelessness are identified. The impact of support and prevention programs within each country is discussed. Health literacy, within the school setting, is considered as a strategy to address youth homelessness.
Köpke & Schlüter: Nutrition Ecology – A Topic for Biology Lessons
Authors: Imke Köpke and Kirsten Schlüter
Abstract: In this article the concept of nutrition ecology (Ernährungsökologie) is introduced as a basis for combining health, ecological, and societal aspects when teaching nutrition. It supports the idea of sustainable development. There are several parallels between these two concepts that will be illustrated. A teaching unit is described that combines imparting knowledge about nutrients, food categories and production methods that can be the foundation of food selection for the diet. To assess students’ attitudes a questionnaire was developed based on the concept of nutrition ecology. The main elements of this questionnaire and interpretation of the data emanating from it are discussed.
MacNiven et al.: Recommendations for Health Education and the Curriculum – Canada, the United States, and Germany: A Cross-cultural Analysis
Authors: Laura MacNiven, Richa Joshi, Julia Nölle
Abstract: The long recognized link between health and learning has been motivating policymakers worldwide to improve the overall health of schools through the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Health Promoting School (HPS) Model. Health education curriculum must be supported adequately by the overall cultural, educational, and social climate of a school’s environment. To facilitate health literacy in youth, it is imperative that curricula in health education be supported by standardized national health education guidelines and provincial/state mandated teacher training within an interdisciplinary approach. This paper offers a cross-cultural analysis of curricular practices in health education of three developed countries: Canada, the United States, and Germany. Today’s youth face universal health issues related to risk behaviour decision-making abilities. In order to develop health literacy skills and competencies across the lifespan, all nations must re-evaluate their health education curriculum in K-12 schools utilizing a health promoting school framework in order to support student health and learning.
McDermott et al.: International Consortium for Interdisciplinary Education about Health and the Environment – Founding Purpose and Philosophy
Authors: Robert J. McDermott, Klaus Klein, Dale O. Ritzel, Sandra Vamos and Founding Members of the International Consortium
Abstract: The day-to-day activities of human beings directly impact the health of the environment, and conversely, the environment plays a major role in human health. The complex interactions of the human organism and the surrounding environment form the basis for teaching and research across disciplines and across national boundaries. The future of the environment is one aspect of the world community that transcends the politics of any one nation. To advance discussion of environmental educational opportunities across disciplines, an international invitational meeting was held under the auspices of the International Office of the University of Cologne, the Institute of Biology and its Didactics, and the Gesellschaft für Umwelt, Gesundheit und Kommunikation, December 12-15, 2007 at the University of Cologne, in Germany. A series of presentations and follow-up discussions ensued. This paper highlights the purpose and philosophy behind the conference as well as some aspects for further discussion emanating from the conference. Finally, it introduces the rebirth of a scholarly journal – Umwelt und Gesundheit Online, formerly published in the 1980s and 1990s as a hard copy journal, Umwelt und Gesundheit.
McDermott et al.: Tobacco Consumption and Control in Canada, Germany, and the United States
Authors: Robert J. McDermott, Cheryl A. Vamos, Klaus Klein
Abstract: This paper identifies factors related to tobacco use in Canada, Germany, and the United States. Basic epidemiologic data are presented. Tobacco consumption rates are compared. Control measures are examined across the three nations. Non-comprehensive policies and inconsistent implementation and enforcement of laws inhibit maximum health benefits from occurring. Until such consistency occurs, morbidity and mortality from tobacco products will continue to be a public health threat.
Neubert: The Teachable Moment – A Pedagogical Journey
Author: Stefan Neubert
Abstract: Some teachers have no doubt found it difficult to predict exactly when and how learning takes place among individuals and groups. To grasp the “teachable moment” means to connect learning with experience. The author of this paper reviews the relevance of the work of the famous educator, John Dewey, to finding the “teachable moment” in science education, as well as some of the modern interpretations of the constructivist view of education. In the end, context and experience are vital to understanding the process of learning and may contribute to the process of preparing teachers to anticipate, and even predict, the timing of the “teachable moment.”
Onay & Güney: Hazardous Waste Control and Management: An Overview
Authors: Turgut T. Onay and Mert Güney
Abstract: Hazardous wastes may become problematic if improper disposal practices are applied. For this reason, behavior of these substances in the environment, assessment of the risks they may pose, and the selection of the most appropriate management strategies for the proper control of these wastes are important. This paper provides a summary of the fate and transport of hazardous substances in the environment, risk assessment, and technology selection for the proper control and management of hazardous waste.
Ritze & McCrary-Quarles: Hearing Loss Prevention and Noise Control
Authors: Dale O. Ritzel and Audrey R. McCrary-Quarles
Abstract: Work-related hearing loss is a leading occupational disability to workers in construction, agriculture, and other industries. Most workers suffer as a result of acoustic trauma (onetime exposure to loud sound) and through daily exposures to moderately loud sound over an extended period of time. Some of the symptoms of hearing loss include problems with understanding words, particularly with background noise or in a crowd and asking others to speak louder or repeat words/sentences. A workplace can help conserve hearing and reduce noise by conducting initial and annual hearing tests, incorporating administrative and engineering controls, providing personal hearing devices to workers, and educating workers about hearing conservation. Implications for the teaching of noise- inducted hearing loss as an environmental health topic are discussed.
Scheewe et al.: The Role of Outdoor Education / Recreation in Promoting Healthy School Communities: Lessons from Germany, Canada, and the United States
Authors: Kea Scheewe, Jeet Sujan, Stephanie Wade
Abstract: Characterized by sedentary behaviors and unhealthy nutritional intake among youth, the current health crisis facing many industrialized countries has resulted in an epidemic of overweight and obese children. Nations are eager to develop programs and policies to reduce and halt this epidemic. Some believe schools should play a large role in addressing this problem due to the fact that many children spend one-third or more of their days within an educational facility. There is urgency to reintroduce effective physical activity programs in schools. This paper provides a comparison of overweight and obesity trends among children and current traditional and “outdoor recreation” school physical activity programs in three industrialized countries – Canada, Germany, and the United States. This paper examines several recreational activities and the role they play in encouraging physical activity among adolescents. There has been a shift in the methodology utilized in promoting physical activities. Educational institutions have engaged in and continue to develop non-traditional approaches toward addressing physical inactivity such as hiking and snow boarding. The findings within this paper underscore the need for collaboration among educational institutions, physicians, parents, public health professionals and policy makers in addressing this epidemic.
Vamos: Promoting Health Literacy: Integrating Environmental Health Education into Teacher Training
Author: Sandra Vamos
Abstract: Human activities impact the health of the environment and the environment in turn influences human health. Teachers and schools can play a key role in healthy human development while building capacity for environmental sustainability. Health literacy is essential to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to be active participants in shaping practices and policies that impact their own health, their community, and which transcend national borders. The responsibilities of academia include the role of university programs to prepare health-literate teachers who have the capacity to access, comprehend, appraise, and communicate health information to engage with the demands of different health contexts in order to promote and maintain good health across the life-course and similarly enable their school communities to do the same. Integrating environmental health education into K-12 teacher training within higher education is not only an opportunity to enhance teachers’ health literacy skills, but promotes health and education reform while building capacity for environmental sustainability. This paper focuses on advancing pre-service teachers’ health literacy through the integration of environmental health education in professional teacher training utilizing Environment Canada’s major environmental issues to guide such efforts.
White et al.: Promoting Bicycle Use and Preventing Bicycle-Related Injuries: Recommendations for School Communities in Canada, Germany and the United States
Authors: Kelly White, Lauren Ratner, Katrin Markeli
Abstract: Physical inactivity is currently a leading public health concern in Western Europe and North America. This indicates a need to consider options for adding physical activity into the daily lives and activities of children. A possible means of adding physical activity to the daily routine of children and families is to increase active transportation, such as walking and cycling, as a means of commuting to and from school. Current research on active transportation indicates that commuting to school by bicycle has the potential to reduce bicycle injuries, enhance health and wellness, and improve the health of communities. However, the current number of children cycling to and from school in Canada and the United States is extremely low, due in part to concerns over cycling safety. Therefore, developing coordinated and comprehensive bicycle safety programs in schools can address and alleviate some of the barriers to children cycling to school as well as prevent injury and improve overall health.