Do readers live healthier lives?

Do readers live healthier lives?

The state Departments of Health; Agriculture and Consumer Services; and Education believe so and joined forces last week for help spread the word.

The “Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!” event is a continued effort to promote the connection between reading and health. Part of the festivities included the "Health Literacy in the Classroom" volunteer reading project, in partnership with Florida Blue.

Local volunteers visited third- through fifth-grade classrooms in Gulf County to read the "Iron Man and Habit Heroes" comic book to students.

The comic tells a story in which villains unite to take control of New York City but are stopped by a group of superheroes who must take care of themselves before they can take care of the bad guys.

“The Habit Heroes comic book taught our school children important lessons on how to develop healthy habits – by eating nutritious snacks of fruits, vegetables, and nuts, drinking pure water, and engaging in activities that make you sweat,” said Marsha Lindeman, FDOH Administrator for Gulf and Franklin counties.

On Thursday, Family Support Worker Karen King visited Kendall Hicks’ fourth grade class to read the book, which aimed to convey a positive message about healthy lifestyles in a fun and empowering way.

“Overcoming the rising trend of overweight and obese young people and adults does not have an easy, one-solution answer,” said Lindeman. “The students learned, along with the Habit Heroes and Iron Man, that we can always discover new ways to improve our lives by making healthy decisions.”

As King and her daughter, Hicks, read along with the students, they discussed with the students ways to live healthier lives.

According to members of the Florida Department of Health and Florida Blue, the basic components in maintaining good health and eliminating health disparities begins with the ability to read, write and comprehend letters and numbers.