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Moving Upstream to Improve Population Health Down the Road Essay

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Updated: May 12th, 2022

Developmental origins of health and Disease

The developmental origins of health and diseases are the environmental influences on health that start before one’s birth, however, affecting the life of an individual throughout his or her life. These factors affect the tissue homeostasis and physiology of a human being. Other issues influence the life of an individual; they are mainly nutrition and metabolic aspects (Mercy & Saul, 2009).

The impact of childhood policies and programs on lifelong health

Due to the influence of the environment on the wellbeing of people, the need for devising policies for a sustainable future helps in supporting the vitality and productivity of society. The early years of one’s life are essential for lifelong healthy development, which starts for a child from the maintenance of a healthy mother during her pregnancy. “Early experiences strengthen biological systems for children and allow them to thrive into healthy adults” (Guyer, Ma, Grason, Frick, Perry, Sharkey & McIntosh, 2009). Strong and focused policies for the promotion of the health of children is similar to laying the foundation for the construction of a brain with full capacity for the achievement of skills necessary for productive adulthood. Policies are necessary for the promotion of responsive and stable relationships. They also provide a safe environment for chemical and physical development in individuals, promote nutritional support and develop the concept of maintenance of a multi-sectored perspective to provide strong early childhood foundations for lifelong health (Guyer, Ma, Grason, Frick, Perry, Sharkey & McIntosh, 2009).

“We are all born equal” constrains how society thinks about the early life

The concept of ‘we are all born equal’ limits the society to thinking that the needs in early development stages remain standard for all individuals. Childhood is an important part of the life of an individual and requires high priority for the achievement of equity in its reinforcement for healthy adulthood. The assumption that people are equal leads to the overlooking of environmental influences that create some differences in people.

Influences of the concept

The concept of ‘we are all equal’ masks the physiological differences in people resulting from environmental influences. There is a difference in early childhood care and development support for children; the assumption of people being equal aggravates that factor by not looking for means of helping the children in diverse communities for them to develop normally and healthily (Joyce, Racine & Yunzal-Butler, 2008).

Developmental origins of life and health influence on adult morbidity.

Using developmental origins of life and health concepts have a positive influence on adult morbidity through the restoration of health statuses and provision of resources. Firstly, the poor health of a mother before birth influences the kind of disease or diseases the person has in their childhood and adulthood. Maintenance of good health during the pregnancy through such means as proper nutrition leads to delivery of healthy children with possible avoidance of diseases in their adulthood. Secondly, low incomes lead to a lack of resources and can prevent insuring of parents. However, the availability of insurance resources ensures the good health of families and helps in the control of diseases throughout the developmental stages of a child into adulthood.

Challenges to addressing upstream risks

Social and income determinants on health care challenges in the addressing of the upstream risk and protective determinants of health in current health policies and programs in the U.S. or other countries. These are challenges because there are some cultural societies, which constrain policy changes while in some countries, income constraints reduce the capacities for maintenance of sustainable health programs.

Suggestions for improving asthma conditions

There need to be policies on equitable healthcare provision. Secondly, healthcare should be accessible to uninsured and underinsured people to reduce cases of onset of chronic conditions, for example, asthma (Joyce, Racine & Yunzal-Butler, 2008).

References

Guyer, B., Ma, S., Grason, H., Frick, K., Perry, D., Sharkey, A., & McIntosh, J. (2009). Early childhood health promotion and its life-course health consequences. Academic Pediatrics, 9, 142-149

Joyce, T., Racine, A., & Yunzal-Butler, C. (2008). Reassessing the WIC effect: Evidence from the preg­nancy nutrition surveillance system. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 27, 277-303.

Mercy, J. A., & Saul, J. (2009). Creating a healthier fu­ture through early interventions for children. JAMA, 301(21), 2262-2264.

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