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Health Literacy Control Your Destiny #healthlit. About Your Presenter.

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Presentation on theme: "Health Literacy Control Your Destiny #healthlit. About Your Presenter."— Presentation transcript:

1 Health Literacy Control Your Destiny #healthlit

2 About Your Presenter

3 Todays Lesson What is health literacy? The 3 critical components of health literacy… – Obtain – Process – Understand Healthcare: 3 questions How to apply health literacy and gain its benefits

4 What Is Health Literacy? Health literacy is "the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Source: Institute of Medicine Report -- Health Literacy: A Prescription to End ConfusionHealth Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion

5 gym BMI supplements Paleo Diet nutrition fitness happiness Low Carbs pyramid youth MyPlate shakes electrolytes Dont smoke herbs Drink water natural portions Healthy weight weights Fruits and veggies protein Google search for the word healthy brings 577,000,000 results…

6 Obtain the Facts Find credible sources. Distinguish actual scientific facts from unfounded opinions.

7 Poll: Where Do You Obtain Your Health Information? Family Friends TV show Facebook Magazine/Newspaper Google/Internet Vitamin store News channels

8 Obtain: Conflict of Interest? Health food store – It is very important that you buy our vitamins, even though the claims arent always verified, nor are they regulated. Tobacco Institute – Smoking is okay.

9 Tobacco Institute: Smoking Is Okay

10 Obtain: Credible Experts Medical: – Physicians, physicians assistants – Nurses – Pharmacists (think: prescriptions) – Public health websites:,, Nutrition: – Registered dietitian – Diabetes educators – Public health websites:,,,,,

11 Obtain Best Evidence Scientific studies: – Published in peer-reviewed journals. – Repeatable results. The best advice is evidence-based.

12 Process for Public Policy 1 Study Peer reviewed journal More studies Repeat results Public health policy Strong evidence from peer reviewed journals and many studies

13 Obtain Peer-Reviewed Evidence Journal of the American Medical Association New England Journal of Medicine Lancet Journal of the American Dietetic Association Canadian Journal of Cardiology Nutrition Review Surgeon Clinical North America Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis Vascular Biology Circulation Journal of Applied Physiology Science

14 YOU DONT HAVE TO READ ALL OF THAT There is a committee of experts who reads these for you every 5 years

15 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

16 The Dietary Guidelines Committee Chair: Barbara Millen, DrPH, RD, Millennium Prevention Vice- Chair: Alice Lichtenstein, DSc, Tufts University Members: Steven Abrams, MD, Baylor College of Medicine Lucile Adams-Campbell, PhD, Georgetown University Medical Center Cheryl Anderson, PhD, MPH, University of California, San Diego J Thomas Brenna, PhD, Cornell University Wayne Campbell, PhD, Purdue University Steven Clinton, MD, PhD, The Ohio State University Gary Foster, PhD, Temple University Frank Hu, MD, PhD, MPH, Harvard School of Public Health Miriam Nelson, PhD, Tufts University Marian Neuhouser, PhD, RD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Rafael Perez-Escamilla, PhD, Yale University Anna Maria Siega-Riz, PhD, RD, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Mary Story, PhD, RD, University of Minnesota


18 Best Sources for Consumers www.who.intl www.who.intl

19 Avoid Non-credentialed opinions Conspiracy theories that conflict with established evidence. Resources from companies that stand to make a profit if your follow their recommendations (Tobacco Institute; Institute of Cookies, etc) Belief agenda versus science and fact Well-meaning family and friends TV and media hype Resources with lots of anecdotes, but few credible study results




23 Seek the Truth Seek the truth, not a magic bullet.

24 Obtain: Your Goals Prevention: Make good decisions and stay healthy Treatment: Successfully navigate the healthcare system and follow all the necessary directions in order to get well

25 Process The more you read and learn, the more you will be able to process information and evaluate what you read.

26 Process To successfully process health information, you must consider change. When it comes to change, do you have… Ability Will Capacity

27 Process You cant always control your condition. You can control your participation and willingness to learn. You can also control whether or not you have a support network.

28 Understand: Make Decisions Read as much as you can (remember those credible sources). Ask questions when you visit your healthcare team. Find professionals that you trust. Take notes. Come up with your own action plan.

29 Ask Me Three! What is my main problem? What do I need to do? Why is it important for me to do this? Source:

30 Health Literacy Tasks Evaluate information. Is it good quality? Is it credible? Analyze risks and benefits. Calculate dosages. Interpret test results. Locate health information and services.

31 Health Literacy Skills Visually literate Do you understand graphs? Computer literate. Can you operate a computer? Information literate Can you apply information? Numerically literate Can you calculate?

32 Benefits of Health Literacy People who are health literate are more likely to… Prevent the flu by getting a flu shot. Understand medicine labels & instructions. Have better health.

33 Benefits of Health Literacy People who are health literate are less likely to… Be hospitalized. Have bad disease outcomes. Spend lots of money on healthcare. Have increased mortality risks.

34 Test Your Knowledge: True or False? Aunt Sally says she always uses a tincture of vinegar and water to avoid getting a sore throat. A popular TV show host says that coconut oil is healthful. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans says that saturated fat has been proven to rise cholesterol and it should be limited to less than 10% of your daily calories. Your doctor says you should visit every year to get your cholesterol checked. A friend says you should try these supplements to lose weight. The health food store is running an event to help you avoid gluten.

35 Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain

36 Review and Questions What is health literacy? The 3 critical components of health literacy… – Obtain – Process – Understand Healthcare: 3 questions How to apply health literacy and gain its benefits

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