Research on the social determinants of health has demonstrated robust correlations between several social factors, health status, and life expectancy. Some of these factors could be modified through policy intervention. National-level public policies explicitly based on population health research are in various stages of development in many Western countries, but in spite of evident need, seemingly not at all in the United States. Because research shows such a strong association between education and good health, we offer evidence to show that at least two pressing problems in American society, namely the uneven distribution of educational attainment and health disparities linked to socioeconomic position, may be ameliorated through policy initiatives that link quality early childhood care, child development programs, and parental training in a seamless continuum with strengthened K–12 education.

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