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In this issue
- New Evidence Brief – infant feeding and childhood obesity
- Understanding the use of data visualisation tools – participants sought
- The Broken Plate – new report from the Food Foundation
- Study shows strong support for sugary drinks tax
- Removing sweets and crisps from checkouts linked to fall in unhealthy purchases
- Physical activity programmes in schools aren’t working – here’s why
- CEDAR insight in Chief Medical Officer Report
- Vacancy: two research study assistants on the FRESH study
- Upcoming seminars and talks
- Our latest publications
- Your information and preferences
New Evidence Brief – infant feeding and childhood obesity
We’ve published a new Evidence Brief. Into the mouths of babes – Effects of infant feeding on growth and childhood obesity
More than one in five children in England start school overweight or obese, and inequalities in these rates are widening. Childhood obesity is associated with many health risks that often persist into adult life, and efforts to prevent childhood obesity therefore need to start from birth.
This Evidence Brief looks at infant feeding, growth and later life risks, and what effective interventions in this area could look like.
Understanding the use of data visualisation tools
Calling all working in and with local authorities: take part in our study to help evidence-informed policy
At CEDAR, we’re conducting an NIHR School for Public Health Research study looking at the uses of data visualisation tools to support decision making in local authorities. We’re looking for people working in public health, urban planning, transport planning and consultancy, charities and advocacy groups to take part.
The study – using learning and experience gained from development and use of the Food environment assessment tool (Feat) and Propensity to Cycle Tool (PCT) – is examining user experience, acceptability and funding of these tools and others like them.
If you think you might be eligible for this research, you can read more and sign up at at www.cedar.iph.cam.ac.uk/understanding-the-use-of-data-visualisation-tools/
CEDAR contributes to Food Foundation Broken Plate report
The Food Foundation has published a report The Broken Plate: Ten vital signs revealing the health of our food system, its impact on our lives and the remedies we must pursue
You can read the full report here. It looks at a range of influences on what we eat, including advertising, food availability, affordability, formulation; as well as examining their effect on our health.
CEDAR researcher Dr Thomas Burgoine analysed Ordnance Survey’s data for the report. This shows that, on average, one in four food outlets in England are takeaways. This is about a 4% increase in takeaway proportion since 2014.
Our evidence has linked greater exposure to takeaway food outlets, to the likelihood of being overweight and obese. Greater exposure to takeaway food outlets in more deprived areas may be contributing to observed socioeconomic health inequalities.
Planners in English local authorities are increasingly implementing planning regulations that limit growth in the takeaway food sector, for example including exclusion zones around schools, and restrictions on the amount of retail frontage dedicated to takeaway food.
- Read the full report
- Media coverage of the report included The Daily Mail and BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours
Study shows strong support for sugary drinks tax
The UK Government’s Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) was announced in 2016 and came into effect nearly a year ago in April 2018. With partners from the University of Oxford and the LSHTM, CEDAR is leading a major natural experimental evaluation study of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL)
CEDAR researchers have recently published the results of survey of over 3,000 people carried out before the levy came into effect. The study aimed to find out what people know and think about soft drinks, what level of support there is for the levy, and how effective people think it will be. The main findings were:
- 70% of participants supported the sugary drinks levy
- 71% believed it would be effective
- 90% believed that consuming sugary drinks increases the risk of obesity
- 54% said it was important to them to try not to drink sugary drinks
- 62% said that sugary drinks taste good
- Support for, and perceived effectiveness of, the UK soft drinks industry levy among UK adults: cross-sectional analysis of the International Food Policy Study. David Pell, Tarra Penney, David Hammond, Lana Vanderlee, Martin White, Jean Adams, BMJ Open http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026698
- A welcome sweetener? – a blog post on these findings from Liz Cairncross at the Health Foundation
Assessing the Barbados sugar tax
Meanwhile, recent research from CEDAR researchers in collaboration with the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre at the University of the West Indies shows that a tax on sugary drinks in Barbados appears to be having an effect on drink sales.
The study showed a decrease is sales of sugary drinks by 4.3% compared to expected sales without a tax. Sales of non-sugary drinks increased by 5.2%, with bottled water sales going up by 7.5%.
The World Health Organization has advocated for sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxes as part of a broader strategy to prevent obesity and non-communicable diseases including type 2 diabetes.
- Assessing the impact of the Barbados sugar-sweetened beverage tax on beverage sales: an observational study. Miriam Alvarado, Nigel Unwin, Stephen J. Sharp, Ian Hambleton, Madhuvanti M. Murphy, T. Alafia Samuels, Marc Suhrcke and Jean Adams. IJBNPA. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-019-0776-7
Removing sweets and crisps from supermarket checkouts linked to dramatic fall in unhealthy snack purchases
Policies aimed at removing sweets and crisps from checkouts could lead to a dramatic reduction in the amount of unhealthy food purchased to eat ‘on the go’ and a significant reduction in that purchased to take home, suggests new research led by the University of Cambridge.
The study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, found that 76% fewer purchases of sugary confectionery, chocolate and potato crisps were bought and eaten ‘on-the-go’ from supermarkets with checkout food policies compared to those without. In addition, 17% fewer small packages of these items were bought and taken home from supermarkets immediately after introducing a checkout food policy.
- Read the full article
- Supermarket policies on less-healthy food at checkouts: Natural experimental evaluation using interrupted time series analyses of purchases. Katrine T. Ejlerskov, Stephen J. Sharp, Martine Stead, Ashley J. Adamson, Martin White, Jean Adams. PLOS Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002712
- This research received widespread media coverage, including articles in The Guardian, Independent, Daily Telegraph, BBC News and ITV News among many others.
Physical activity programmes in schools aren’t working – here’s why
Rebecca Love, PhD student at the MRC Epidemiology Unit, writes in The Conversation about the lack of success in efforts to help children be more active at school.
A third of children in the UK are overweight or obese by the time they reach primary school. Many other countries are facing the same issue, with a tenfold increase in the worldwide prevalence of childhood obesity over the past four decades.
International guidelines recommend that young people aged five to 18 should do at least an hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. But globally, eight out of ten adolescents fail to meet these guidelines. In particular, girls and children from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds are less likely to be physically active.
- Read the full article in The Conversation.
- Are school‐based physical activity interventions effective and equitable? A meta‐analysis of cluster randomized controlled trials with accelerometer‐assessed activity. Rebecca Love, Jean Adams, Esther M. F. van Sluijs. Obesity Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.12823
CEDAR researcher contributes to Chief Medical Officer Report
The Chief Medical Officer’s annual report 2018 was published just before Christmas.
The report concludes that there are reasons to be optimistic but that greater effort to improve the health environment is required – it should be easier to take the healthy option.
For the chapter Changing behaviour for a healthier population, CEDAR’s Professor Martin White was among the authors. The chapter sets out the challenges – and potential prizes – of changing health-related behaviours at the scale needed to improve health across all sections of the population.
The authors explore some of the main trends in health-related behaviours, examine how physical, economic, digital, social and commercial environments play a significant role in driving them, and envision ways in which these environments might be changed to improve population health.
They identified some key approaches to achieving this vision, including: regulating the commercial sector, including more effective regulation of marketing and advertising; using taxes and subsidies to reduce the supply and demand for unhealthier products, increasing the supply and demand for healthier products, and changing our physical and digital environments to make healthier behaviour an easier option for everyone.
Vacancy: two research study assistants on the FRESH study
Research Study Assistant (Fixed Term) x 2 (1 x 1 FTE, 1 x 0.5 FTE)
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a two Research Study Assistants to play an important role in supporting the department’s research into physical activity promotion. The two appointed Research Study Assistants will work on an NIHR family-focused but child led project where the intervention is delivered via an online platform.
The Families Reporting Every Step to Health (FRESH) study is a randomised controlled trial, aiming to increase physical activity and connectivity within families by encouraging them to be active together. Further information about the study can be found at www.cedar.iph.cam.ac.uk/research/directory/fresh.
There are two fixed term contracts available, one x 1FTE post for 7 months and one x 0.5FTE post for 6 months, both with an ideal start date of April 2019.
- Closing date: 12 March
- Interview date: 21 March 2019
- Full details: www.jobs.cam.ac.uk/job/20483/
Upcoming seminar and talks
Look out for more talks and events at www.mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk/events and www.iph.cam.ac.uk/news/seminars
Previous CEDAR / MRC Epidemiology Unit events where slides, audio or video are available are listed at www.mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk/past-seminars/
CEDAR / MRC Epidemiology Unit Seminar
The Economics of Infectious Disease
Flavio Toxvaerd, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
Thursday 21 March, 11:00 – 12:00
Meeting Rooms 1&2, Level 4, Institute of Metabolic Science, Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Examining Public Health Workers’ Perceptions Toward Response Expectations in Disasters
Dr Daniel Barnett, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Friday 15 March 2019, 10:00-11:00
Large Seminar Room, Institute of Public Health, Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 0SR
Emerging international threats: the role of the WHO and national governments
Dr Oliver Morgan, World Health Organization
Friday 3 May 2019, 13:00-14:00
Large Seminar Room, 1st Floor, Institute of Public Health, University Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge, CB2 0SR
Governance or government? How should researchers understand the policy process?
Professor Michael Kenny, Bennett Institite for Public Policy
Friday 7 June 2019, 13:00-14:00
Large Seminar Room, 1st Floor, Institute of Public Health, University Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge, CB2 0SR
Our latest publications
The following papers have been published since the last CEDAR Bulletin. All are Open Access.
General public health
- Age-related inequalities in colon cancer treatment persist over time: a population-based analysis. Hayes L, Forrest L, Adams J, Hidajat M, Ben-Shlomo Y, White M, Sharp L. J Epidemiol Community Health.
- Does domiciliary welfare rights advice improve health-related quality of life in independent-living, socio-economically disadvantaged people aged ≥60 years? Randomised controlled trial, economic and process evaluations in the North East of England. Howel D, Moffatt S, Haighton C, Bryant A, Becker F, Steer M, Lawson S, Aspray T, Milne EMG, Vale L, McColl E, White M. PLoS One.
- Randomised controlled trial with economic and process evaluations of domiciliary welfare rights advice for socioeconomically disadvantaged older people recruited via primary health care (the Do-Well study). Haighton C, Moffatt S, Howel D, Steer M, Becker F, Bryant A, Lawson S, McColl E, Vale L, Milne E, Aspray T, White M. Southampton (UK): NIHR Journals Library.
- A Qualitative Study to Understand the Potential Efficacy of an Information-Based Sugar Reduction Intervention among Low Socioeconomic Individuals in the UK. Forde H, Solomon-Moore E. Int J Environ Res Public Health.
- Assessing the impact of the Barbados sugar-sweetened beverage tax on beverage sales: an observational study. Alvarado M, Unwin N, Sharp SJ, Hambleton I, Murphy MM, Samuels TA, Suhrcke M, Adams J. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act.
- Bringing harmony to public health debates about food. Adams J. BMJ.
- Comparison of individuals with low versus high consumption of home-prepared food in a group with universally high dietary quality: a cross-sectional analysis of the UK National Diet & Nutrition Survey (2008-2016). Clifford Astbury C, Penney TL, Adams J. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act.
- Feasibility of working with a wholesale supplier to co-design and test acceptability of an intervention to promote smaller portions: an uncontrolled before-and-after study in British Fish & Chip shops. Goffe L, Hillier-Brown F, Hildred N, Worsnop M, Adams JM, Penn L, Wrieden W, Summerbell CD, Lake AA, White M, Adamson A. BMJ Open.
- Relative Density of Away from Home Food Establishments and Food Spend for 24,047 Households in England: A Cross-Sectional Study. Penney TL, Burgoine T, Monsivais P. Int J Environ Res Public Health.
- Supermarket policies on less-healthy food at checkouts: Natural experimental evaluation using interrupted time series analyses of purchases. Ejlerskov KT, Sharp SJ, Stead M, Adamson AJ, White M, Adams J. PLoS Med.
- Support for, and perceived effectiveness of, the UK soft drinks industry levy among UK adults: cross-sectional analysis of the International Food Policy Study. Pell D, Penney T, Hammod D, Vanderlee L, White M, Adams J. BMJ Open.
- Time for complete transparency about conflicts of interest in public health nutrition research. Hennessy M, Cullerton K, Baker P, Brown A, Crawley H, Hayes C, Kearney PM, Kelly C, McKee M, Mialon M, Petticrew M, Rundall P, Trickey H, White M, Redsell S. HRB Open Research.
- Exploring the emergence and evolution of population patterns of leisure-time physical activity through agent-based modelling. Garcia LMT, Diez Roux AV, Martins ACR, Yang Y, Florindo AA. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act.
- Interventions to increase physical activity in children 0-5 years old: a systematic review, meta-analysis and realist synthesis. Hnatiuk JA, Brown HE, Downing KL, Hinkley T, Salmon J, Hesketh KD. Obes Rev
- Longitudinal associations between weather, season, and mode of commuting to school among Spanish youths. Herrador-Colmenero M, Harrison F, Villa-González E, Rodríguez-López C, Ortega FB, Ruiz JR, Jones AP, Chillón P. Scand J Med Sci Sports.
- Physical activity and preventable premature deaths from non-communicable diseases in Brazil. Rezende LFM, Garcia LMT, Mielke GI, Lee DH, Giovannucci E, Eluf-Neto J. J Public Health (Oxf).
- The association between maternal-child physical activity levels at the transition to formal schooling: cross-sectional and prospective data from the Southampton Women’s Survey. Hesketh KR, Brage S, Cooper C, Godfrey KM, Harvey NC, Inskip HM, Robinson SM, Van Sluijs EMF. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act.
- The development and feasibility of a randomised family-based physical activity promotion intervention: the Families Reporting Every Step to Health (FRESH) study. Guagliano JM, Brown HE, Coombes E, Hughes C, Jones AP, Morton KL, Wilson ECF, van Sluijs EMF. Pilot Feasibility Stud.
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