The latest news from the Centre for Diet and Activity Research
- Cambridgeshire guided busway encouraging a more active commute
- Evidence Brief: Common Agricultural Policy Sugar Reforms – Implications for Public Health
- Evidence Brief: Children’s sedentary behaviour, health and the family environment
- Creating Active School Environments: non-academic literature review
- PhD Studentships in Epidemiology and Public Health Research 2016
- Group walking systematic review wins BJSM award
- CEDAR / MRC Epidemiology Unit Seminars
- Recent CEDAR publications
Cambridgeshire guided busway encouraging people to be more active on the commute
The bus might seem like a natural enemy of the vulnerable cyclist. But in Cambridgeshire, a ‘guided busway’ is encouraging more cycling and helping commuters to become more active on their way to work. This is according to a new study from the University of Cambridge, funded by the National Institute for Health Research and published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The guided busway provides a dedicated track that excludes other traffic, running from St Ives into Cambridge and out to Trumpington via the Biomedical Campus. The project has provided a new bus network, two new park-and-ride sites, and a traffic-free path for pedestrians and cyclists along the busway.
This independent scientific study was led by CEDAR researchers in the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with University College London and the University of East Anglia. Researchers followed 469 commuters over time and assessed changes in their activity patterns before and after the opening of the busway.
The latest results show that people living closer to the busway were more likely to increase the time they spent cycling on the commute than those living further away. The researchers also found that the largest effect on physical activity on the journey to work was seen in those commuters who were least active before the busway opened. This suggests that the busway could help shift activity patterns in the population at large, rather than just encouraging those who are already active to do a little more.
- Read the full story
- Paper: The impact of new transport infrastructure on walking, cycling and physical activity. Jenna Panter, Eva Heinen, Roger Mackett and David Ogilvie. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2015.09.021
- Read Dr Jenna Panter’s blog post about the research
- This story received coverage in Cambridge News, ITV news online, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire (02:22:55), and BikeBiz
Evidence Brief: Common Agricultural Policy Sugar Reforms
Implications for Public Health
Changes in the Common Agricultural Policy are restructuring the food system to reduce the commodity price of sugar.
As a result, sugars will become cheaper to incorporate into processed foods, potentially increasing sugar content in our food. This is likely to have a negative impact on initiatives to reduce sugar consumption in the UK and across Europe.
This new Evidence Brief looks at how changes at a European level could impact on UK sugar consumption, the mixed signals it could send on public health, and questions and options for policymakers and the public health community.
- Read the Evidence Brief
- Paper: Liberalising agricultural policy for sugar in Europe risks damaging public health. Emilie Aguirre et al, BMJ. bmj.com/cgi/doi/10.1136/bmj.h5085
- Read a news summary here. This research received media coverage in the Guardian, Independent and Daily Mail
Evidence Brief: Children’s sedentary behaviour, health and the family environment
We know that physical activity in children has health benefits, and recently there has been an increasing focus on sedentary behaviour as a possible health risk. So how much do we really know about the impact of too much sitting, and what role does the family have in tackling it?
This new Evidence Brief provides a useful summary of the evidence about sedentary behaviour in children.
It examined how sedentary behaviour is related to overall physical activity, its potential impacts on health, how the family environment might influence it, and implications for policy and future research.
- Read the Evidence Brief
- More Evidence Briefs available at www.cedar.iph.cam.ac.uk/resources/evidence
Creating Active School Environments: non-academic literature review
The Creating Active School Environments (CASE) project aims to find ways to help adolescents be more active and sit less within the school environment.
Funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Program, CASE will increase our understanding of how secondary schools can help young people move more and sit less throughout the day. It will help identify what strategies would be most effective, acceptable and provide the best value for money.
CASE has recently published The School Environment and Adolescent Physical Activity, a review of non-academic literature in this area.
Researchers explored the UK-based non-academic literature relating to school-based interventions and programmes that have attempted to modify the school physical, social and policy environment in order to increase physical activity and/or reduce sedentary behaviours in adolescent populations. They also conducted a small number of telephone interviews with individuals from organisations involved in implementing these sorts of initiatives.
Although several detailed frameworks and guidance documents exist outlining how schools can promote physical activity via changes to their wider school environment, there remain very few evaluations of these sorts of initiatives in secondary schools. Most initiatives targeting the school environment have focused on extracurricular physical activity policies and PE initiatives.
Making successful changes to the wider school environment involved consulting with students and allowing them to design and lead initiatives. Changing the school culture is also essential, which means making physical activity a priority, effective leadership and having the whole school involved in planning and implementation.
- Download the review
- Read more about CASE at cedar.iph.cam.ac.uk/case
- To register as a stakeholder for CASE please contact Dr Katie Morton, email@example.com
PhD Studentships in Epidemiology and Public Health Research 2016
We’re looking for new PhD students at CEDAR and the MRC Epidemiology Unit.
Funded studentships, commencing in October 2016, are available in the social and environmental determinants of physical activity and dietary behaviour, population-level interdisciplinary diet and physical activity intervention research and public health modelling.
These are 3-year positions for those who have a Master’s degree, or equivalent training, in an appropriate scientific discipline. Opportunities also exist for 4-year positions for those wishing to undertake the MPhil in Epidemiology or Public Health in the first year.
We provide diverse training opportunities for all aspects of research and for transferable academic and generic skills. The academic requirement for entry is a first or upper second class degree or equivalent. Graduate students register with the University of Cambridge and belong to one of its Colleges.
- Closing date for applications: 6 January 2016. Interviews: 29 January 2016.
- Read full details and apply
Group walking systematic review wins BJSM award
University of East Anglia’s Sarah Hanson has jointly won the British Journal of Sports Medicine Annual Award for best intervention systematic review.
Sarah’s review, examined 42 studies to determine the health benefits of outdoor walking groups. The meta-analysis revealed significant improvements in a number of important health outcomes, including blood pressure, percentage body fat, and physical function.
Given that such walking groups experience low attrition and high adherence rates, this review highlights walking groups as a cost-effective and low-risk option for clinicians counselling physically inactive patients.
- Read more about the award
- Read more about the research
- Paper: Is there evidence that walking groups have health benefits? A systematic review and meta-analysis, Sarah Hanson, Andy Jones. British Journal of Sports Medicine. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2014-094157
CEDAR/MRC Epidemiology Seminars
- 8 December 2015, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Prof Larry Frank, School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia
- CANCELLED: 10 December 2015, 11:00 am
Dr Derek Yach, The Vitality Institute
Further seminar and events can be found at: www.mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk/events
Other talks at the Cambridge Institute of Public Health, including the Bradford Hill series, are available at www.iph.cam.ac.uk/news/seminars/
Recent CEDAR publications
The following papers have been added to our publications database since the last CEDAR Bulletin. All are Open Access.
General public health
- Anticipated survival and health behaviours in older English adults: cross sectional and longitudinal analysis of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Adams J, Stamp E, Nettle D, Milne EM, Jagger C. PLOS ONE
- Capturing Public Opinion on Public Health Topics: A Comparison of Experiences from a Systematic Review, Focus Group Study, and Analysis of Online, User-Generated Content. Giles EG, Adams JM. Front Public Health.
- Socio-economic differences in the association between self-reported and clinically present diabetes and hypertension: secondary analysis of a population-based cross-sectional study. Gerald Tompkins, Lynne F Forrest, Jean Adams. PLoS One.
- Effectiveness of a behavioural intervention to prevent excessive weight gain during infancy (The Baby Milk Trial): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Lakshman, Rajalakshmi; Whittle, Fiona; Hardeman, Wendy; Suhrcke, Marc; Wilson, Ed; Griffin, Simon; Ong, Ken. Trials
- Factors influencing obesogenic dietary intake in young children (0–6 years): systematic review of qualitative evidence. Veena Mazarello Paes, Ken K Ong, Rajalakshmi Lakshman. BMJ Open
- Liberalising agricultural policy for sugar in Europe risks damaging public health. Emilie Aguirre, Oliver Mytton, Pablo Monsivais.
- Engaging families in physical activity research: a family-based focus group study. Helen Elizabeth Brown, Annie Schiff and Esther M. F. van Sluijs. BMC Public Health.
- Family-based interventions to increase physical activity in children: a meta-analysis and realist synthesis protocol. Helen Elizabeth Brown, Andrew J Atkin, Jenna Panter, Kirsten Corder, Geoff Wong, Mai J M Chinapaw, Esther van Sluijs. BMJ open.
- The impact of new transport infrastructure on walking, cycling and physical activity. Jenna Panter, Eva Heinen, Roger Mackett and David Ogilvie. American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
- PRomotion Of Physical activity through structured Education with differing Levels of ongoing Support for people at high risk of type 2 diabetes (PROPELS): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Yates T, Griffin S, Bodicoat DH, Brierly G, Dallosso H, Davies MJ, Eborall H, Edwardson C, Gillett M, Gray L, Hardeman W, Hill S, Morton K, Sutton S, Troughton J, Khunti K.
- Reframing safety: An analysis of perceptions of cycle safety clothing. Rachel Aldred, James Woodcock. Transport Policy
- A spatial equity analysis of a public health intervention: A case study of an outdoor walking group provider within local authorities in England. Sarah Hanson, Andy Jones. Int J Equity Health.
- Seasonal Variation in Children’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Time. Andrew J Atkin, Stephen J Sharp, Flo Harrison, Soren Brage, Esther M F van Sluijs. Med Sci Sports Exerc.
- Theorising and testing environmental pathways to behaviour change: natural experimental study of the perception and use of new infrastructure to promote walking and cycling in local communities. Jenna Panter, David Ogilvie, on behalf of the iConnect consortium. BMJ Open.
- Trends in local newspaper reporting of London cyclist fatalities 1992-2012: the role of the media in shaping the systems dynamics of cycling. Alex Macmillan, Alex Roberts, James Woodcock, Rachel Aldred, Anna Goodman. Accid Anal Prev.
- UK Preschool-aged children’s physical activity levels in childcare and at home: a cross-sectional exploration. Hesketh KR, Griffin SJ, van Sluijs EMF. IJBNPA
You can search over 290 CEDAR scientific papers by author, journal, study, title and abstract keywords on our publications database at www.cedar.iph.cam.ac.uk/publications
Questions and comments to Oliver Francis: firstname.lastname@example.org