The latest news from the Centre for Diet and Activity Research
- Find our Feat: CEDAR launches the Food Environment Assessment Tool
- Global Diet and Activity Research Group and Network (GDAR)
- A new leash of life: dog walking could be key to activity in later life
- New Evidence Brief – Changing the way we travel
- Cycling tool highlighted in national strategy
- CEDAR leading major evaluation of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy
- Have you visited Great Snackington? Where healthy foods can be hard to find.
- NIHR Let’s Get Digital Award – A ‘hole’ lot of salt video needs your vote
- Forthcoming Seminars
- Latest CEDAR publications
Find our Feat: CEDAR launches the Food Environment Assessment Tool
CEDAR has recently launched the Food environment assessment tool (Feat). This new resource is underpinned by the latest scientific evidence about how food access in our neighbourhoods affects our dietary choices, body weight and health. It allows for detailed exploration of the geography of food retail access across England.
It will allow you to map, measure and monitor access to food outlets at a neighbourhood level, including changes over time. It is designed around the needs of professionals in public health, environmental health and planning roles, locally and nationally. Use it to:
- generate local evidence for use in the development of Obesity Strategies, Local and Neighbourhood Plans, JSNAs and Strategic Planning Documents.
- support planning decisions
- compare food access between neighbourhoods, and see where is changing fastest
- target interventions, and test the effectiveness of planning policies.
Feat has been developed by CEDAR and the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge and is powered by data from Ordnance Survey.
Access Feat at www.feat-tool.org.uk
Contact the Feat development team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feat in the news
We worked with The Guardian newspaper as part of the Feat launch. The paper covered it from a number of angles:
- Large rise in takeaway shops highlights dominance of fast food in deprived areas
- Fast food England: how many takeaways are near you? (Interactive visualisation using Feat)
- Does putting a cap on takeaways improve people’s health?
- Survey: are you worried about the food options available in your area?
A number of other national and local outlets picked up the story, and Dr Tom Burgoine spoke about Feat on various radio stations including TalkRadio.com and Radio 5 Live (from 2:40:48)
There’s also currently a vacancy for a Research Assistant in a study to explore the nature of local authority actions to limit proliferation of hot food takeaways in England. Fixed term post for 8 months, deadline for applications 23 August.
- Full details at www.jobs.cam.ac.uk/job/14486
Global Diet and Activity Research Group and Network (GDAR) funding awarded
CEDAR is to play a key role in a new international research partnership to help combat poor diet and physical inactivity and reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases.
The Global Diet and Activity Research Group and Network (GDAR) has been awarded funding by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
GDAR will carry out research to help prevent non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, which are a major and growing cause of death and disability in low and middle income countries. Two of the most important causes behind the increases in these diseases are unhealthy diets and a lack of physical activity, both of which are associated with the rapid economic development that is taking place in these countries.
GDAR will generate evidence on the factors that lead to poor diet and physical inactivity; design and evaluate interventions to change these factors; and investigate the long-term health and economic effects of such interventions.
The partners in the GDAR network are:
- MRC Epidemiology Unit and the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) in the UK
- University of the Witwatersrand and University of Cape Town in South Africa
- University of Yaoundé in Cameroon
- Centre for Global Health Research at the Kenyan Medical Research Institute
- Caribbean Institute for Health Research, University of the West Indies
A new leash of life: dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.
Published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the study used data from the EPIC Norfolk cohort study, which is tracking the health and wellbeing of thousands of residents of the English county of Norfolk.
The researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and CEDAR found that owning or walking a dog was one of the most effective ways to beat the usual decline in later-life activity, even combatting the effects of bad weather. Dog owners were sedentary for 30 minutes less per day, on average.
More than 3000 older-adults participating in the study were asked if they owned a dog and if they walked one. They also wore an accelerometer, a small electronic device that constantly measured their physical activity level over a seven-day period.
The team found that on shorter days and those that were colder and wetter, all participants tended to be less physically active and spent more time sitting. Yet dog walkers were much less impacted by these poor conditions.
- Fetch more on the story here
- Paper: Yu-Tzu Wu, Robert Luben, Andy Jones. Dog ownership supports the maintenance of physical activity during poor weather in older English adults: cross-sectional results from the EPIC Norfolk cohort. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
National coverage of this story included the Daily Telegraph, Independent, Daily Mail, the Sun, and the Daily Express, with lots of local and regional coverage across the country. Internationally, it pricked up the ears of Sky News Australia, Times of India, and Irish Times among many others. Prof Andy Jones also did a pack of interviews (14 in fact) with BBC local radio stations, as well as ITV Anglia.
New Evidence Brief. Changing the way we travel
Infrastructure and our everyday transport choices
Enabling people to walk, cycle and make greater use of public transport has benefits for health and the environment. But what do we know about the effectiveness of changing the way we travel by improving the places we live in?
As well as our evidence reviews, at CEDAR we have evaluated three interventions in this area: cycling initiatives, new routes for walking and cycling, and a new transport system that supports walking, cycling and public transport.
This Evidence Brief takes a look at the findings and what they could mean for transport and public health policy.
Cycling tool highlighted in national strategy – and other public health modelling news
The recently-launched Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Strategy (CWIS) is part of government plans to encourage cycling in the UK.
An important part of the delivery of the strategy at a local level will be the Propensity to Cycle Tool (PCT), which was developed by a team at Universities of Cambridge, Leeds and Westminster, led by researcher from CEDAR.
The tool, funded by the Department for Transport, helps prioritise investment in transport planning and is widely seen as representing a step-change in planning strategically to increase cycling. The design, features and potential applications of the PCT was recently published in the Journal of Transport and Land Use.
- Read more at cedar.iph.cam.ac.uk/blog/cwis-pct-25-4-17
- Propensity to Cycle tool: pct.bike
- Map of current and potential cycle commuting by local authority district, including for various future scenarios: pct.bike/la-map.html
- Evidence Brief: England’s Cycling Potential – Results from the Propensity to Cycle Tool project
- Department for Transport Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (pdf)
Public Health Modelling Study News
Towards an Integrated Global Transport and Health Assessment Tool (TIGTHAT)
The two year TIGTHAT project began in April 2017, and will help lay the scientific foundations of a health impact assessment tool that will be readily applied to a wide variety of urban settings in Low or Middle Income Countries to estimate health impacts of transport choices.
TIGTHAT is an international collaboration funded by an MRC Global Challenge Foundation Award, and led by Dr James Woodcock, Dr Marko Tainio and Dr Rahul Goel from the Public Health Modelling programme in CEDAR, and Dr Søren Brage of the MRC Epidemiology Unit’s Physical Activity Epidemiology programme in the MRC Epidemiology Unit. A kick-off meeting was held in Barcelona in June, with experts from around the world participating in the talks.
In addition, to TIGTHAT, the Public Health Modelling programme has also recently started Methods and Tools for Assessing the Health Impacts of Transport: modelling study (METAHIT) – a three year project to develop methods for modelling health impacts of transport in England.
Read more at www.cedar.iph.cam.ac.uk/research/modelling/tigthat
CEDAR leading major evaluation of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy
With partners from Oxford and LSHTM, CEDAR is leading a major natural experimental evaluation study of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL).
The SDIL is a new levy announced in the 2016 budget, directed toward producers and importers of soft drinks that contain added sugar. Companies will have to pay 18p/100 ml for drinks containing at least 5g of sugar per 100ml, and 24p/100ml for those with more than 8g per 100ml.
The design and implementation of the levy was led by HM Revenue and Customs and HM Treasury. They consulted on the plan in August 2016 and it was included in the Finance Bill 2017, which received Royal Assent in May 2017. The SDIL will take effect from April 2018.
Grounded in a ‘systems approach’, the SDIL Evaluation Study aims to assess how and for whom the levy has an effect on health, looking at a variety of potential impacts. The evaluation will examine:
- product diversification, reformulation, marketing, prices, purchases and consumption of soft drinks
- early health impacts of the levy
- the process by which the tax came about, as well as wider change in public, political, societal and industry attitudes.
The SDIL Evaluation Study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research’s Public Health Research Programme (Project number 16/130/01).
Have you visited Great Snackington? It’s a place where healthy foods can be hard to find.
As part of the 2017 MRC Festival of Medical Research, CEDAR researcher Dr Tarra Penney teamed up with Cambridge artist Aurora Cacciapuoti to imagine the town of Great Snackington.
Great Snackington is a way for the whole family to explore the question of how where we live and work affects the food choices we make.
- Visit the town at mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk/snackington
- Printed copies of Great Snackington are also available. If you would like copies, please email email@example.com. You can also contact us if you would like a researcher to visit your school to talk about this subject.
NIHR Let’s Get Digital Award – A ‘hole’ lot of salt video needs your vote!
, with colleagues at Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, has produced a video outlining the findings of an intervention aimed at reducing the consumption of salt with takeaway foods. The video – A ‘hole’ lot of salt – has been shortlisted for the video category of NIHR’s Let’s Get Digital awards.
The awards judging panel described the video as “an excellent example of making clinical research accessible to the public,”, and you can now vote for who you think should be the winner in this and other categories.
- Watch the video at vimeo.com/223435253
- Vote at nihr.ac.uk/news-and-events/support-our-campaigns/shortlisted-entries.htm
- Comparison of sodium content of meals served by independent takeaways using standard versus reduced holed salt shakers: cross-sectional study, IJBNPA
- Reducing the Salt Added to Takeaway Food: Within-Subjects Comparison of Salt Delivered by Five and 17 Holed Salt Shakers in Controlled Conditions, PLOS ONE
Jean has also recently been interviewed for a Cambridge Independent feature on how to improve the eating habits of a nation.
CEDAR / MRC Epidemiology Unit Seminar: 2 August 2017, 12:30 – 1:30
Early Life Undernutrition Alters Cardiac Muscle Development Resulting in Reduced Physical Activity Engagement and Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease.
David P. Ferguson PhD, RCEP, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology, Michigan State University.
Meeting Rooms 1&2, Level 4, Institute of Metabolic Science, Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Bradford Hill Seminar: 24 November 2017, 13:00-14:00
Evidence is Not Enough: Towards a democratically legitimate role for evidence in health policymaking
Dr Katherine Smith, Global Public Health Unit Social Policy, University of Edinburgh
Large Seminar Room, 1st Floor, Institute of Public Health, University Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge.
More talks and events at www.mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk/events and www.iph.cam.ac.uk/news/seminars
Latest CEDAR publications
The following papers have been published or added to our publications database since the last CEDAR Bulletin. All are Open Access. In total we’ve published over 60 research papers this year!
General public health
- Childcare in infancy and later obesity: A narrative review of longitudinal studies. Costa S, Adams J, Gonzalez-Nahm S, Benjamin Neelon SE. Current Pediatrics Reports
- Do cardiometabolic, behavioural and socio-economic factors explain the ‘healthy migrant effect’ in the UK? Linked mortality follow-up of South Asians compared to White Europeans in the Newcastle Heart Project. Louise Hayes, Martin White, Richard McNally, Nigel Unwin, Anh Tran, Raj Bhopal. Epidemiol Community Health
- Effects of living near an urban motorway on the wellbeing of local residents in deprived areas: Natural experimental study. Louise Foley, Richard Prins, Fiona Crawford, David Humphreys, Richard Mitchell, Shannon Sahlqvist, Hilary Thomson and David Ogilvie, on behalf of the M74 study team. PLoS One.
- Identifying inequitable healthcare in older people: systematic review of current research practice. Sarah M Salway, Nick Payne, Melanie Rimmer, Stefanie Buckner, Hannah Jordan, Kate Walters, Sarah L Sowden, Linda Sharp, Mira Hidajat, Martin White. Int J Equity Health
- N-of-1 study of weight loss maintenance assessing predictors of physical activity, adherence to weight loss plan and weight change. Kwasnicka D, Dombrowski SU, White M, Sniehotta FF. Psychol Health
- Parental preferences for the organisation of preschool vaccination programmes including financial incentives: a discrete choice experiment. Darren Flynn, Laura Ternent, Frauke Becker, Yemi Oluboyede, Jean Adams. MDM Policy & Practice
- Accessibility and affordability of supermarkets: associations with the DASH diet. Mackenbach JD, Burgoine T, Lakerveld J, Forouhi NG, Griffin SJ, Wareham NJ, Monsivais P. Am J Prev Med.
- Alcohol Marketing during the UEFA EURO 2016 Football Tournament: A Frequency Analysis. Richard I. Purves, Nathan Critchlow, Martine Stead, Jean Adams, Katherine Brown. Int J Environ Res Public Health
- Association between distance to nearest supermarket and provision of fruits and vegetables in English nurseries. Thomas Burgoine, John A Gallis, Tarra Penney, Pablo Monsivais, Sara E Benjamin Neelon. Health Place
- Association between home food preparation skills and behaviour, and consumption of ultra-processed foods: cross-sectional analysis of the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2008-2009). Lam MCL, Adams J. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act
- Changes in diet from age 10 to 14 years and prospective associations with school lunch choice. Eleanor M Winpenny, Kirsten Corder, Andy Jones, Gina L Ambrosini, Martin White, Esther MF van Sluijs.
- Change in diet in the period from adolescence to early adulthood: a systematic scoping review of longitudinal studies. Eleanor M Winpenny, Tarra L Penney, Kirsten Corder, Martin White, Esther MF van Sluijs. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act.
- Childhood predictors of adolescent behaviour: The prospective association of familial factors with meeting physical activity guidelines. Brown H, Corder K, Atkin AJ, van Sluijs EMF. Prev Med Rep
- Health and social determinants and outcomes of home cooking: A systematic review of observational studies. Mills S, White M, Brown H, Wrieden W, Kwasnicka D, Halligan J, Robalino S, Adams J.
- Intake Levels of Fish in the UK Paediatric Population. Kranz S, Jones NRV, Monsivais P.
- Trends in beverage prices following the introduction of a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in Barbados. Miriam Alvarado, Deliana Kostova, Marc Suhrcke, Ian Hambleton, Trevor Hassell, Alafia Samuels, Jean Adams, Nigel Unwin. Prev Med
- The carbon savings and health co-benefits from the introduction of mass rapid transit system in Greater Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Soo Chen Kwan, Marko Tainio, James Woodcock, Rosnah Sutan, Jamal Hisham Hashim, Journal of Transport & Health
- Can environmental improvement change the population distribution of walking? Panter J, Ogilvie D; iConnect consortium. J Epidemiol Community Health.
- Health and greenhouse gas mitigation benefits of ambitious expansion of cycling, walking, and transit in California. Neil Maizlish, Nicholas J Linesch, James Woodcock. Journal of Transport & Health
- Longitudinal associations between built environment characteristics and changes in active commuting. Lin Yang, Simon Griffin, Kay-Tee Khaw, Nick Wareham, Jenna Panter. BMC Public Health
- The modelled impact of increases in physical activity: the effect of both increased survival and reduced incidence of disease. Mytton OT, Tainio M, Ogilvie D, Panter J, Cobiac L, Woodcock J. Eur J Epidemiol
- Multiple Risk Behavior Interventions: Meta-analyses of RCTs. Meader N, King K, Wright K, Graham HM, Petticrew M, Power C, White M, Sowden AJ. Am J Prev Med
- Seasonality in swimming and cycling: Exploring a limitation of accelerometer based studies. Flo Harrison, Andrew J Atkin, Esther M F van Sluijs, Andy P Jones. Preventive Medicine Reports.
- Weather and children’s physical activity; how and why do relationships vary between countries? Flo Harrison; Anna Goodman; Esther Van Sluijs; Lars Bo Andersen; Greet Cardon; Rachel Davey; Kathleen F Janz; Susi Kriemler; Lynn Molloy; Angie S Page; Russ Pate; Jardena J Puder; Luis B Sardihna; Anna Timperio; Niels Wedderkopp; Andy P Jones. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act
- Weather, Day Length and Physical Activity in Older Adults: Cross-Sectional Results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Norfolk Cohort. Yu-Tzu Wu, Robert Luben, Nicholas Wareham, Simon Griffin, Andy Jones. PLoS One
You can search nearly 400 CEDAR scientific papers by author, journal, study, title and abstract keywords on our publications database at www.cedar.iph.cam.ac.uk/publications
Sign up for future issues here.
Questions and comments to Oliver Francis: firstname.lastname@example.org