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Starting Early in Life: Good In/Good Out!

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 2:52pm

Forty-two years ago, researchers followed two groups of babies from poor families. In one group, children were given full-time day care up to age 5, daily meals, interaction among the group and stimulating games.

The second group, aside from baby formula, received nothing.

Now, all these years later, researchers have their results: the group that got care is far healthier, with sharply lower rates of high blood pressure and obesity, and higher levels of "good" cholesterol.

Additionally, those in the group given special care were four times as likely to have graduated from college.

James Heckman, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago who led the data analysis, found that this, and similar research findings, tell us that adversity matters, and while it greatly affects adult health, poverty is not just a hopeless condition if we can begin programs that start far earlier in a child's life.

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