lack of education can kill

Lack of Education Could Kill You

Dear Mr. Dad: My son just finished his sophomore year of high school and has decided that he doesn’t want to graduate. My wife and I never finished high school and we’re doing okay—she’s a waitress and I’m an auto mechanic. Some of my friends (the ones who have college degrees) are telling me that it’s a mistake to let my son drop out. But I’m not convinced. What do you think?

A: Your friends are right. At the risk of being dramatic, the lack of a high-school diploma could actually kill your son. According to a recent report by the Population Reference Bureau, a 25-year old male without a high school diploma has another 44 years to live. But a high school grad can expect to live 51 more years, and a college grad will be around 57 more years (all of those numbers are about six years higher for women).

Sounds pretty crazy doesn’t, it? Well, here’s how it works. In general, if your son has a college degree, he’ll probably get a better-paying job than if he drops out now. Having a degree also increases the likelihood that he’ll have health insurance, which makes it more likely that he’ll get regular physicals, get age-appropriate health screenings, not smoke, exercise more, and see a doctor if he develops a health problem later.
To give you some specifics, people who don’t graduate high school are more likely than those with a college degree to suffer from depression, be missing their natural teeth, have two or more chronic health conditions, and be obese. Michael Grossman, who has done extensive research into the connection between education and health, sums it up quite nicely. ”Years of formal schooling completed is the most important correlate of good health.”

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Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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