Colección: La Educación
Número: (134-135) I,II
Health and education professionals agree that the topic “Nutritional State and Its Effects on the Learning Process and Education” has not been given the importance or the attention it merits. It is our intent, through this special edition of La Educación, to promote and disseminate this important subject.
This issue presents several different perspectives on the topic, thereby enriching the discussion and consideration of a wide spectrum of situations. The participating authors are reknowned in their respective fields and specialize in such areas as medicine, education, philsophy, psychology, nutrition, nursing, anthropology, social work, and dentristy. This combination lends itself to a multifaceted approach with different variables and components.
For many years, specialized publications have discussed both the concept of development as well as the priority areas that should be considered when defining the state of a country’s development. Without a doubt, a great number of these publications highlight health and education as two of the principal components of development and the fundamental pillars for a better quality of life for our people.
It is difficult for a malnourished child to be a successful student, or to even have access to education. “Environmental, physical, cultural and social factors, in reciprocating fashion, exercise a substantial role in the conduct and health of these children” (Tamer 1995, El Envejecimiento Humano). From the analysis of the articles and statistical information presented here, it can be deduced that the more attention children receive, the higher their school performance and the better their body measurements, all of which reflect a better state of health.
Unfortunately, in many countries malnourishment in schools is not tackled from the root of the problem, and some government’s public policies fall into an assistance paradigm, reduced to short-term measures. School cafeterias, food assistance programs and food vouchers are frequently promoted for electoral reasons for very short periods of time, which means that nutritional monitoring and educational progress of the participants of these programs is very difficult.
Health and education, in addition to being fundamental pillars of development, are basic human rights and the only hope for reducing poverty and increasing equity. Health and education go hand-in-hand and are the only guarantee of transforming society.
María Elena Boschi