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NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

7. Health behaviours Volume 13 Issue 3

Margo Eyeson-Annan, Louisa Jorm, Belinda O'Sullivan, Michael Giffin

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About the author/s

Margo Eyeson-Annan

Louisa Jorm

Belinda O'Sullivan

Michael Giffin


Health behaviours represent an important range of factors that influence child health and wellbeing, from the antenatal period and beyond. Parental health behaviours – such as maternal smoking and diet – can directly influence children in the early years. Along with the school and social environments, parenting styles, parental messages, early childcare, and education in early childhood, all have an influence on child health behaviours as children grow up. Health behaviours in childhood affect health in later life, because behaviours in childhood influence behaviours in adulthood, and because the beginnings of many chronic diseases actually occur in childhood.