First, to become health literate one must know the definition of this term. Being health literate does not mean hitting the gym everyday or trying the latest greatest fad diet. Health literacy can best be defined as “The degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions (2000).” It really is quite basic in definition but is somehow being overlooked in the United States today. The big problem is not that US citizens are making unwise choices when it comes to health care. The big problem is that US citizens do not know how to get the information about the right decisions, process a right or wrong decision or even understand basic information that relates the to health care and other health services.
According to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, health literacy includes the following: “The ability to understand instructions on prescription drug bottles, appointment slips, medical education brochures, doctor's directions and consent forms, and the ability to negotiate complex health care systems (Glassman, 2008).” Be wary of the term literacy. Being health literate is not just having the ability to read. Health literacy “requires a complex group of reading, listening,... [continues]
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