Partners update: Students learn about nutrition and air pollution

Students in Brazil and Sri Lanka have continued to benefit from Girawa’s teaching material covering nutrition and air pollution.

First students associated with our partners Clube Saúde Planetária Lins (CSP Lins) based in the Lins district of São Paulo, Brazil benefited from Girawa’s teaching material covering nutrition which highlighted the issues caused by high levels of salt, sugar and red meat in our diets, which can not only increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer, but can also contribute to environmental destruction and the biodiversity crisis, due to the amount of land required for intensive farming and monocultures, particularly to meet the demand from developed countries. Thus children learned about the importance of consuming in moderation, the biology behind how fruit and vegetables reduce the risk of common diseases, and how fruit and vegetable production is less harmful to the environment. To reinforce what they had learnt in a practical way, the students took part in a food festival, as pictured below.

Pictures from the food festival held for students as part of their nutrition lessons with Clubé Saúde Planetária Lins, São Paulo, Brazil.

In Sri Lanka, students at the Foundation of Goodness Village Heartbeat Centres continued to benefit from the Planetary Health course by learning about the dangers of air pollution. The lessons covered sources of pollution, primarily fossil fuel combustion for energy, transport and manufacturing, and cooking indoors by burning wood or gas, which occurs in many Sri Lankan households. The lessons covered how carbon and methane emissions from fossil fuel combustion are also driving climate change, and the solutions being implemented worldwide such as switching from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy.

Pictures from the air pollution lessons for students in the Foundation of Goodness Village Heartbeat Centres in Sri Lanka.

Pollution is considered the greatest environmental threat to health as it has been linked to increased heart disease, strokes, asthma, dementia and cancer, so students learnt the biology behind how pollution can cause these diseases and how they can protect themselves from the harmful effects of pollution such as using face masks, eating healthily and spending more time in green areas.

Thanks to Joelita Rocha of CSP Lins, Brazil, Edward Edin and Rashmini De Silva of the Foundation of Goodness, Sri Lanka for disseminating the material to their students and for providing the photos above.

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