•   Chapter 5: Individual Behaviors

•   Chapter 6: Social Factors

•   Chapter 7: Physical and Social Environmental Factors

•   Chapter 8: Policies and Social Values

The wide variety of factors considered responds to the panel’s charge, which stipulates that we “go beyond previously tested explanations.” Part II also develops the argument that these potential explanations are interconnected across chapters in “upstream/downstream” relationships. These relationships are important in two ways: they demonstrate causality, e.g., when policies affect education or obesity rates; and they offer a temporal, life-course perspective, e.g., when environmental conditions in childhood precipitate unhealthy behaviors and pathophysiological disease processes later in life.

Part III

The panel’s conclusions and recommendations are in Part III of this report, which sets out priorities for research and action:

•   Chapter 9: Research Agenda

•   Chapter 10: Next Steps

Given the ambitious charge to the panel, the significance of the findings to emerge from Part I, and the breadth of the explanatory framework laid out in Part II, we see this report as laying the foundation for a challenging research agenda but also for immediate next steps the nation can take while awaiting the results of future studies.

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