Would You Prefer to Be Healthy or Smart?

What would you say is more important for your success? Your health or your education? We asked Americans which five-year-old is more likely to be successful — one with access to a good education but no health care, or one who has access to a great doctor but poor schools?

People overwhelmingly chose education by a margin of four to one. But consider this:

  • If a child is sick with untreated asthma, he or she will miss school and opportunities to learn.
  • If a child knows someone who was shot, he or she will have more difficulty focusing in school.
  • If a child’s early diet includes more salty and fatty foods, he or she is likely to not only gain weight as a child, but also continue unhealthy weight gain as an adult.
  • If a baby isn’t breastfed for the first six months of life, it could mean an IQ that is 10 points less than a child who is.

There shouldn’t have to be a choice between health and education. But in fact, it’s a choice made by parents, communities and legislators every day.

Think about a time when your health may have gotten in the way of your success. It could be something as simple as not getting enough sleep before a big meeting or missing important work while sick.

Now imagine if that were a regular occurrence. Where would that leave you?

Read more about how central our HEALTH is to our success.

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