Discussion 1: Moving Upstream to Improve Population Health Down the Road
Babies control and bring up their families as much as they are controlled by them; in fact the family brings up baby by being brought up by him.
—Erik H. Erikson
A growing body of evidence is linking adult chronic disease to processes and experiences occurring decades before these diseases manifest themselves. In some cases, intrauterine influences may be linked to long-term health outcomes.
A major challenge in population health is determining how to influence early life to produce good health in later years. Some countries do a better job in reducing socioeconomic inequalities and other determinants of health or mitigating their impact on children’s health and development than others. The challenge for public health professionals is to promote a greater understanding of the circumstances of early life and to foster policies to benefit those whose health ultimately depends on family and society.
Medical care in middle age can mitigate the consequences but cannot redress or change the impact of those early factors. Additionally, medical care when you are already ill is expensive, sometimes providing too much care too late to make a difference. As demonstrated this week, medical care is less important for producing good health outcomes later in life.
For this Discussion, you examine how the use of concepts of the developmental origins of life and health can influence adult morbidity. Your Discussion also challenges you to propose ways to improve child health that will also provide a long-term benefit on population health.
To prepare for this Discussion, complete the readings and view the media in your Learning Resources. Look online and in the Walden University Library for additional scholarly resources regarding the developmental origins of health and disease and the impact of childhood policies and programs on lifelong health to support your discussion post and replies.
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