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A healthy, productive Canada: A determinants of health approach

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The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology Final Report of Senate Subcommittee on Population Health
Keon, Wilbert Joseph & Pépin, Lucie (Chairs)
Book / booklet
Publication Date: 
1 Jun 2009

Excerpts from the report:

Early childhood development, from pre-conception to pregnancy and parenting through the early years of life, is often considered as a powerful health determinant and is a critical element of the life course approach to population health. Scientific evidence demonstrates that experiences from conception to age six have the most important influence of any time in the life cycle on the connecting and sculpting of the brain’s neurons. Positive stimulation early in life affects the person’s subsequent health, well-being, coping skills and competence.

Education is closely tied to socio-economic status, and effective education for children and lifelong learning for adults are key contributors to health and prosperity for individuals and for the country. Education contributes to health and prosperity by equipping people with knowledge and skills for problem solving, and helps provide a sense of control and mastery over life circumstances. It increases opportunities for job and income security, and job satisfaction. And it improves people’s ability to access and understand information to help keep them healthy. Individual responsibility for health is another important element of a whole-person, whole-government approach to population health.

Selected recommendation:

20. That the following health determinants be given priority: clean water, food security, parenting and early childhood learning, education, housing, economic development, health care and violence against Aboriginal women, children and elders.