Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Comment: Health Promotion in Children

Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Comment: Health Promotion in Children

Article excerpt

From a policy perspective, reducing childhood poverty, and associated health inequalities in the health of children and young people, are a common challenge for governments.

In England an 'integrated' policy approach has been adopted to address this challenge. A cross-government programme1 is intended to achieve improved outcomes for all children across five dimensions over the next ten years.

This programme embraces the implementation of the new National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services2 and the new public health White Paper Choosing Health.3 Stewart-Brown discusses these priorities for promoting the health of children and young people (p.61). Behavioural problems and mental health are now acknowledged as areas for action along with lifestyles including smoking, obesity, alcohol use and drug taking. These problems are disproportionately concentrated in those groups of children and young people living in poorer social circumstances.

From a research perspective, the 'life course' approach provides a clear rationale for early intervention that will yield future benefits. The evidence on the role of low birth weight as a marker of future diseases, has contributed much to this understanding (p.76). This approach also helps understand the influence of child poverty on health in child and adult life. Poor social circumstances adversely impact on physical and emotional health and compromise educational and social progress. …

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