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Moving Upstream to Improve Population Health Down Road

The researchers of nowadays have found the connections between the adult morbidity and life expectancy and the fetal development of a human being or the early life of the child (Halfon 2009). The upstream approach revealed an early reason of adult cardiac diseases and mortality rate. It turns out that undernutrition in the period of pregnancy can create a flawed fetal programming (Wadhwa et al. 2009). Because of this programming a baby is very likely to have heart problems in the adulthood. The way to improve child health is the promotion of healthy nutrition for pregnant women.

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a. The commonly held sentiment “we are all born equal” creates a false idea in the society. It makes people think that all children have the same needs and are to be treated and brought-up equally, while some of the children clearly require medical help and special approach because of their health. Children are not born equal, according to their health, the closer look shows that some pathological processes happen on cellular and molecular levels (Miller, Chen & Cole 2009).

b. The better understanding of underlying biology of the health issues will allow creating better environments to address special health conditions in the early childhood in order to avoid their development in the future (Shonkoff, Boyce & McEwen 2009). Treating children as equals according to their health may lead to inevitable damage that will increase the population’s mortality rate in the future.

Adult health and morbidity is shaped on the early stages of fetal development and childhood. For example, the lack of proper nutrition experienced by a fetus leads to the increasing risk of diabetes or hypertension. Bad life conditions during the early childhood create the risk of the development of depressive syndrome in adult life (Gluckman, Hanson, & Buklijas 2010).

a. Poverty and unemployment are ones of the challenges that stand on the way of health promotion policies (Wilkinson & Pickett 2010). The undernutrition is often caused by the financial status of the pregnant woman. Another factor that prevents the specialists from effectively addressing the upstream causes of adult diseases is lack of health literacy and cultural differences of the population of the United States (Learn about Health Literacy 2011).

b. Financial status of a person is a very significant health determinant (Health Determinants n. d.). Poor mothers that live in starvation or cannot afford proper and balanced diets are most likely to end up having children with health pathologies and fetal malfunctions. Lack of access towards health services caused by ethnical and cultural differences and lack of English proficiency are the reasons why health promotion policies are ineffective among some ethnic groups of population (Holmes & Boyce 2012).

c. Predisposition towards childhood obesity is determined by fetal development and early life. Childhood obesity leads to increasing risk of diabetes, which is one of the leading death causes in the world. Upstream strategies designed to promote healthy nutrition, active lifestyle and limiting of the unhealthy food and beverages market is the strategy to address the risk of diabetes among adults (Overview: Actions Taken and Future Directions 2011).

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Reference List

Boyce T., & Holmes, A. (2012). Addressing Health Inequalities in the Delivery of the Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Program: Examining the role of the school nurse. PLoS ONE, 7(9), 1–8.

Gluckman, P. D., Hanson, M. A., Buklijas, T. (2010). A Conceptual Framework for The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, 1(1), 6-18.

Halfon, N. (2009). Life course health development: A new approach for addressing upstream determinants of health and spending. Web.

Learn about health literacy. (2011). CDC. Web.

Miller, G., Chen, E., & Cole, S. W. (2009). Health psychology: Developing biologically plausible models linking the social world and physical health. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 501–524.

Overview: Actions Taken and Future Directions. (2011). Public Health Agency of Canada. Web.

Shonkoff, J. P., Boyce, W. T., & McEwen, B. S. (2009). Neuroscience, molecular biology, and the childhood roots of health disparities: Building a new framework for health promotion and disease prevention. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 301(21), 2252–2259.

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The Determinants of Health (n. d.). Health Poverty Action. Web.

Wadhwa, P. D., Buss, C., Entriger, S. Swanson, J. M. (2009). Developemtal Origins of Health and Disease: Brief History of the Approach and Current Focus on Epigenetic Mechanisms. Semin Reprod Med., 27(5), 358-368.

Wilkinson, R., & Pickett, K. (2010). The spirit level: Why greater equality makes societies stronger. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Press.

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