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March 2015

Addressing Millennial Morbidities: Accentuate the Positive

Author Affiliations
  • 1The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, Palo Alto, California
JAMA Pediatr. 2015;169(3):202-204. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.3142

Recent attention to “millennial morbidities”1—those chronic and sometimes intractable medical problems, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and family violence, that originate at the interface between biological, psychological, social, and environmental dimensions—has presented these health problems as new disorders. In fact, the intersection of these multiple factors is old news and common wisdom, documented by centuries of observation and evidence. What is new is the increasing prevalence of these conditions and their determinants in society, and the consequent widespread attention these associations are getting within pediatrics, in other child- and family-serving professions, and among the public at large. Unfortunately, this attention is narrowly emphasizing the toxicity of challenging social circumstances rather than broadly considering how practice and policies can support the healthy development of children.

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