Health Behaviour

Overview
Behaviours such as stopping smoking, moderation of alcohol intake, healthy eating and physical activity can reduce the risks of developing serious illnesses. However, promoting the uptake of healthier behaviour presents challenges, both at the individual and population levels.
The conditions of our early life not only affect how sick or well we are as children, they have an impact on our life-long health and even that of future generations. Just as our income, education and neighbourhood environment shape our health as adults, they have even greater consequences for children.
Lower socioeconomic status in childhood has been linked repeatedly with lower educational and income levels in adulthood, which in turn predict health status. Children in poor families are about seven times as likely to be in poor or fair health as children in the highest-income families. Those whose parents have not finished high school are over six times as likely to be in poor or fair health as those whose parents are college graduates.
Children in disadvantaged situations are also more likely to develop health problems when they are young, further limiting their long-term prospects.

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