The Norman Transcript

Opinion

November 15, 2012

Education important to gain understanding

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Despite Mayor Mick Cornett’s aggressive campaign to improve fitness rates, obesity and diabetes continue to grow in Oklahoma. But understanding the management and prevention of these conditions is complicated and loaded with scientific concepts.

Cell metabolic processes, blood sugar levels, digestive enzymes and metabolic rates are not just abstract theories found in textbooks. When understood, the knowledge of health and wellness are imparted to the individual — and Oklahoma’s overall public health. What a calorie actually is a measure of (the energy to raise a cubic centimeter of water 1 degree Celsius) and how that relates to nutrition is a complex topic that requires critical thinking and inquiry skills found in science classrooms — not just a number on a bag of potato chips.

When children are given the tools to understand the world around them, they are able to help make decisions that make all of Oklahoma better. Teenagers who understand how cancer cells grow better understand the risks of smoking. Children who understand how the body uses food have information to make better choices.

The rigor of science is not just knowing the facts of the world, it is learning how to understand, question and test our world to make it better — even in Oklahoma.

AMY THIESSEN, PT, MEd, NCS

Oklahoma City

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