The Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT) was developed by the CDC to provide guidance to improve curriculum selection and development. The HECAT identifies the healthy behavior outcomes considered to be the most important behaviors to promote in a K–12 health education curriculum, and the corresponding knowledge and skill expectations that must be met at various grade levels in order to achieve these outcomes. The HECAT builds on the characteristics of effective health education curricula and reflects the National Health Education Standards.
HealthSmart was developed to support healthy behavior outcomes for children and youth. The HECAT played a primary role in the development of the second edition of the HealthSmart middle and high school programs. Key concepts and skills required by the HECAT were a driving force in the development of the lesson objectives and assessments in all content areas.