CEDAR Bulletin No. 24 – April 2018

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House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee Childhood Obesity Inquiry

The Health and Social Care Committee is following up its predecessor’s work in the last Parliament (Childhood obesity: brave and bold action and Childhood obesity: follow-up) by holding further evidence sessions on childhood obesity.

CEDAR and the MRC Epidemiology Unit have submitted evidence to the latest inquiry from a number of research programmes.

Propensity for Cycling Tool launches for Wales

The Propensity to Cycle Tool (PCT) – www.pct.bike – commuting layer has now been extended to Wales, thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.

The PCT now covers Wales in the interactive online map, allowing publicly accessible visualisation of cycling potential. The data downloads are also available, providing open access data to inform transport planning decisions. The four user manuals have also been translated into Welsh.

The results reveal that, on average, cycling potential in Wales is somewhat lower than in England. This reflects the fact that trip distances are slightly longer (the proportion of trips over 10km is 47% in Wales compared with 43% in England) and that the average hilliness is greater (mean gradient 3.6% vs. 2.2%). These factors help explain why the observed 2011 cycle mode share for commuting in Wales was half that seen in England (1.6% vs. 3.2%).

The potential for cycling increase in Wales is nevertheless substantial, with a mode share of 7% in all Welsh local authorities in the tool’s “Go Dutch” scenario.

ISPAH 2018 – Cambridge to host pre- and post- Conference Satellite Meetings

Sedentary Behaviour Mechanisms and Data Harmonisation themes

Cambridge is hosting two satellite meetings for the 2018 ISPAH Conference in London 15-17 October. Both are one day meetings, taking place in less than an hour by train from London, making it possible for attendees at the main conference to travel to them for the day.

Pre-Conference Satellite – Sedentary Behaviour Mechanisms
The Moller Centre, Cambridge, Saturday 13 October 2018

The ISPAH Sedentary Behaviour Council will run this one day workshop. It will examine established and emerging evidence on the biological mechanisms via which sedentary behaviour may affect disease risk. Understanding biological pathways is critical for causal inference. Better mechanistic understanding may also provide insight into the best way to alter sedentary behaviour (reduce total duration vs ’break up’ extended bouts) in order to optimise disease prevention.

Confirmed speakers include:

Full details at www.mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk/ispahsedentary18/

Post-Conference Satellite – Data Harmonisation
Trinity Hall, Cambridge, Thursday 18 October 2018

This meeting will create a platform to discuss harmonisation of physical activity and sedentary behaviour data globally.

  • Introducing the value of and need for data harmonisation
  • Describing current and novel harmonisation methods
  • Discussing objective and self-report measures, and travel surveys
  • Sharing best practice and discussing future opportunities

Speakers include:

Full details at www.mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk/ispahdata18   #ispahDataCam18   

ISPAH 2018 – Air Pollution and Physical Activity (APPA) symposium

Also at the main 2018 ISPAH Conference, London 15-17 October CEDAR researcher Dr Marko Tainio is organising a 90 minute symposium on Air Pollution and Physical Activity. The session, co-chaired with Marko and Fiona Bull from the WHO, will look at a range of settings, exposure and outcomes.

Full line-up:

  • Air pollution and physical activity epidemiology: are long-term benefits of physical activity on health modified by exposure to air pollution? Zorana Jovanovic Andersen, University of Copenhagen.
  • Exposure to air pollution while being physically active, Audrey de Nazelle, Imperial College London.
  • Impact of Ambient Fine Particulate Matter Air Pollution on Physical Activity: A Longitudinal Study of University Students in Beijing, China. Ruopeng An, University of Illinois.
  • Air Pollution and Physical Activity – a challenge for public health. Should you avoid cycling and walking in high pollution days? Marko Tainio, University of Cambridge.
  • Panel discussion: air pollution/physical activity interactions. Chaired by Fiona Bull.

Physical Activity Measurement Seminar 2018 – still time to apply!
10-14 September 2018, Møller Centre, Cambridge

This September, the MRC Epidemiology Unit will be holding its 9th Physical Activity Measurement Seminar. The seminar’s goal is to promote high quality field work in epidemiological studies through understanding of the underlying measurement principles and methods of data analysis.

The five day seminar is expected to attract delegates from all over the world. It is primarily aimed at Research Assistants and PhD students interested or involved in the objective monitoring of free-living physical activity. However, anyone interested in this area of research is more than welcome to apply.

A maximum of 24 places are available, and that the closing date for applications is Friday 4 May 2018.

There is the possibility of a subsidised cost for those from low-middle income countries. These will be considered on a case-by-case basis based on the application. If eligible to apply, they can contact pa-seminar@mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk for further information prior to application.

Institute of Metabolic Science Slam – 7pm, Monday 18 June, Portland Arms, Cambridge

As part of the MRC Festival of Medical Research (14-24 June), come and hear scientists take part in a Science Slam.

What’s a Science Slam? It’s a thrilling competition in which scientists present their work in a comprehensible, accessible, and, most importantly, entertaining way in just three minutes.

Our scientists will be without their slides, but they are allowed one prop or costume. At the end of the evening the audience will vote and decide: which scientists will thrive and which will struggle to survive.

The Institute of Metabolic Science includes researchers from the MRC Epidemiology Unit and CEDAR, as well as the University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories (MRL), MRC Metabolic Disease Unit, the Wolfson Diabetes and Endocrine Clinic, and the Weston Centre for Childhood and Adolescent Diabetes and Endocrinology. The Science Slam will be compered by scientists and occasional BBC presenter Dr Giles Yeo.

CEDAR Director delivers diabetes dispatch down under

CEDAR and MRC Epidemiology Unit Director Prof Nick Wareham gave a public lecture in Dunedin, New Zealand attend by New Zealand Minister of Health, David Clark.

Prof Wareham called for bold moves needed if New Zealand is to counter rising obesity and a diabetes epidemic.

Prof Wareham said diabetes and obesity partly reflected, and magnified social inequality. These problems would not be solved just by asking individuals to change their lives, but by wider changes to the social and urban environments.

NIHR School for Public Health Research – PhD Studentships – deadline 9 May

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Public Health Research is funding up to 25 PhD Studentships as part of an initiative to build capacity in public health research.

The studentships will begin in October 2018 and will be distributed across the School’s eight academic Centres, including opportunities at CEDAR.

Studentships will be aligned to the School’s research programmes and themes:

  • Public mental health
  • Places and communities
  • Children, young people and families
  • Health inequalities
  • Efficient and equitable public health systems
  • Changing behaviour at a population level

Deadline for applications is 12 noon, Wednesday 9 May 2018.

Upcoming conferences and talks

Bradford Hill Seminars

  • 4 May 2018, 13:00-14:00
    Professor Richard Hobbs, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford. Title TBC
    Large Seminar Room, 1st Floor, Institute of Public Health, Cambridge
  • 18 May 2018, 13:00-14:00
    Professor Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg, Leiden University
    The Power of Parenting Support
    Large Seminar Room, 1st Floor, Institute of Public Health, Cambridge
  • 15 June 2018, 13:00-14:00
    Dr Melanie Abas, Kings College London
    Psychological Medicine in Global Health: research for impact
    Large Seminar Room, 1st Floor, Institute of Public Health, Cambridge
  • 5 October 2018, 13:00-14:00
    Professor Andrew Morris,
    Farr Institute, Scotland. Title TBC
    Large Seminar Room, 1st Floor, Institute of Public Health, University Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge

More talks in Cambridge

Upcoming conferences of interest

Latest CEDAR publications


The following papers have been published or added to our publications database since the last CEDAR Bulletin. All are Open Access.

General public health


Physical activity

You can search nearly 450 CEDAR scientific papers by author, journal, study, title and abstract keywords on our publications database at www.cedar.iph.cam.ac.uk/publications   

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