Better Health, Better Learning Report - July 2017 SCORE Better Health Better Learning Report_July 20 - Page 10

Economists have found that study participants with higher levels of educational attainment reported lower rates of common acute and chronic diseases—including heart conditions, stroke, hypertension, unhealthy cholesterol levels, emphysema, diabetes, asthma attacks, and ulcers. Physical and mental function is also better for people with higher levels of education. People with higher levels of education are also substantially less likely to report that they are in poor health or that they experience anxiety or depression. 23 In West Virginia, the effects of childhood obesity cost low- income school districts nearly $1,400 more per student for instructional needs. Source: GENYOUth Foundation, 2013 Mental and emotional health are critical for student success. Nationally, 20 percent of adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 have a mental health issue severe enough to negatively affect their daily functioning, but nearly two-thirds of these adolescents do not receive mental health services. 24 In Tennessee, one in five children ages 2 to 17 has at least one emotional, behavioral, or developmental condition. 25 Students suffering from mental illness have a greater likelihood of failing across all subject areas. Improving student health leads to short- and long-term economic benefits. Student illness may lead to parents needing to take time off work, which can result in lost wages and decreased productivity. Costs of care are paid by families, health care providers, and in some cases, public assistance programs. Nationally, among insured children, health care costs for those who are obese run three times that of their non-obese peers. 26 In Tennessee, according to the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness, treatment of preventable and chronic disease costs citizens $6 billion a year. 27 Addressing these conditions at an early age would lead to improved wellness and productivity of Tennesseans, as well as reduce the financial burden of paying for treatments. 7 9