Reducing Inequalities 'Must Begin at Birth', Says Review

By Kaffash, Jaimie | Public Finance, February 19, 2010 | Go to article overview

Reducing Inequalities 'Must Begin at Birth', Says Review


Kaffash, Jaimie, Public Finance


Giving children the best possible start in life should be a government priority, experts said last week.

A government-commissioned report claimed a focus on early years interventions was the best way to overcome inequalities in life expectancy.

Fair society, healthy lives, authored by Michael Marmot, a professor of public health at University College London, revealed that each socioeconomic group in England suffers from shorter life expectancy than the group directly above it.

It found that people living in the richest 5% of neighbourhoods will live seven years longer on average than those living in the poorest 5%. However, even when the two extremes were discounted, there was still a six-year difference in life expectancy between the richest and poorest people.

This had 'profound' implications for social policy, the report stated, as action that focused on the lowest socioeconomic groups would 'only tackle a small part of the problem'. …

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