…Germany is experimenting with a revolutionary kind of preventive medicine: Doctors are prescribing culture for children,” Isabelle de Pommereau writes in a Christian Science Monitor blog. “In one region in the state North Rhine-Westphalia, every child ages seven through 15 who goes to the pediatrician for a checkup walks out with two free tickets to the theatre. The Culture Shot program aims at encouraging pediatricians to support children’s ‘physical, emotional and intellectual health,’ says Hermann-Josef Kahl, the Dusseldorf pediatrician who spearheaded the idea in his city.
It rests on a simple idea: Culture fosters better health habits. ‘It’s cultural primary prevention,’ says Dr. Kahl. ‘We hope to establish an impulse that shows that opening the door to culture paves the way to better education level, and that better education fosters a healthier way of life.’