For Immediate Release
Contact: For copies of articles, call APHA Communications at  202-777-2511 or email us.

News from May 2009 American Journal of Public Health

American Journal of Public Health Highlights:


·         Adolescents from poor families are more likely to be victims of bullying

·         Lay health workers help increase cancer screenings among low-income Hispanic women

·         Few food patrons access the nutrition information at fast-food chains

Adolescents from poor families are more likely to be victims of bullying

A new international study finds that adolescents from families of low affluence reported a higher prevalence of being victims of bullying.


Researchers examined the socioeconomic distribution of adolescent exposure to bullying by surveying 162,305 students, ages 11, 13 and 15, from nationally representative samples of 5,998 schools in 35 countries in Europe and North America for the 2001-2002 school year. Through the results of this survey, researchers discovered that wide disparities in affluence at a school and large economic inequality at the national level were associated with an increased prevalence of exposure to bullying.    


“Successful interventions that reduce school violence in the form of bullying may disproportionately benefit children from poorer social backgrounds, which is yet another important reason for public health to focus on school environments to reduce health inequities now and in the future,” suggest the study’s authors.


[From: “Socioeconomic Inequality in Exposure to Bullying During Adolescence: An International Comparative, Cross-Sectional, Multilevel Study in 35 Countries.” Contact: Pernille Due, National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark,].    



Lay health workers help increase cancer screenings among low-income Hispanic women


The intervention of lay health workers can be beneficial in increasing breast and cervical cancer screening among low-income Hispanic women, reports a new study.


Participants in this study were women 50 and older who were non-adherent to mammography or Pap test screening guidelines. Researchers developed an educational intervention (“Cultivando La Salud”/Cultivating Health), which was administered by lay health workers. After follow-ups, researchers found that screening completion was higher among women in the intervention group than in the control group for both mammography and Pap test screening.   


The study’s authors concluded, “Our study provided further evidence that the lay health worker model can increase breast and cervical cancer screening among low-income Hispanic women.”  


[From: “Effectiveness of Cultivando La Salud: A Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Promotion Program for Low-Income Hispanic Women” Contact: Maria Fernandez, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston,].     


Few food patrons access the nutrition information at fast-food chains


A new study shows that only a low percentage of patrons currently access the nutritional information at a select group of fast-food restaurants, suggesting a more prominent display of nutritional content may be needed.


Researchers set out to determine how frequently consumers accessed on-premises nutrition information provided at chain restaurants, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Au Bon Pain and Starbucks, in both urban and suburban locations. They measured this through an observational study by counting the number of patrons entering the restaurants and accessing nutrition information. Of the 4,311 patrons, only 6 (0.1 percent) accessed the on-premises nutrition information before purchasing their food.  


“Our results indicate that if on-premises nutrition information is to affect customers’ purchasing behaviors, it must be displayed in a highly visible place such as on a menu board,” claimed the study’s authors.  


[From: “An Observational Study of Consumers’ Accessing of Nutrition Information in Chain Restaurants” Contact: Christina Roberto, Department of Psychology, Yale University,].   

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The American Journal of Public Health is the monthly journal of the American Public Health Association (APHA), the oldest organization of public health professionals in the world. APHA is a leading publisher of books and periodicals promoting sound scientific standards, action programs and public policy to enhance health. More information is available at


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