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Introduction 

Introduction
Chapter:
Introduction
Author(s):

Alice A. Kuo

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199309375.003.0001
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date: 19 September 2020

Child health is an important marker of the health of a society. In the United States, we have spent significant amounts of money (over 17% of our Gross Domestic Product) addressing the health problems of our population. However, we have poorer health outcomes than many other developed countries that spend less on health. Many of the diseases and health conditions contributing to the high cost of health care are the results of adult behaviors that have origins in childhood or adolescence. Poor eating habits, childhood obesity, smoking, and a lack of regular exercise all contribute to illness in adulthood. Thus, investing in child health is also a cost-effective prevention strategy that will decrease healthcare costs and improve health outcomes for future generations.

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