AJPH research: Food behaviors during a recession, physical activity for transit users, HPV vaccination trends

Date: Mar 13 2014

Contact: For copies of articles, call or email Kimberly Short, 202-777-2511.

The articles below will be published online by the American Journal of Public Health under “First Look.” “First Look” articles have undergone peer review, copyediting and approval by authors but have not yet been printed to paper or posted online by issue. The American Journal of Public Health is published by the American Public Health Association, and is available online. To stay up to date on the latest in public health research, sign up for new Journal content e-mail alerts.

In this month’s release, find research about the impact of the recession on food consumption and buying behavior; the physical benefits of taking public transit; and the latest rates of women receiving HPV vaccinations.

American Journal of Public Health highlights:

  1. Economic recession did not change food consumption behaviors among U.S. adults
  2. Transit users get nearly 15 minutes of their daily exercise from commuting
  3. HPV vaccination rates rise, but still remain low

Economic recession did not change food consumption behaviors among U.S. adults 

According to a new study from the American Journal of Public Health the economic downturn from the recent recession did not impact U.S. adults’ food consumption behaviors as data showed little increase in cooking at home and no change in eating away from home.

Researchers analyzed how state-level unemployment rates were linked to cooking at home vs. eating away from home before and after the recession. Using the American Time Use Survey, researchers sought to determine the impact of the recession on food behaviors, with interest in variations between different demographic groups.

Results showed only a slight increase in cooking at home as related to the recession and no change in U.S. adults’ eating away from home. More specifically, while low-income men increased time spent preparing foods after the recession, food preparation and consumption patterns did not change, before and after the recession, for low-income women.

“Our findings suggest that, even during a major economic downturn, U.S. adults are resistant to dietary change and are willing to preserve their pre-crisis diets despite rising costs and decreased employment,” the authors conclude.

[“Resistant to the recession: Low-income adults’ maintenance of cooking and away-from-home eating behaviors during times of economic turbulence,” Contact: Barry Popkin, PhD, Gillings School of Global Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.]

Transit users get nearly 15 minutes of their daily physical activity from commuting
New research from the American Journal of Public Health finds that individuals who use transit to travel experience greater daily physical activity than non-transit users, with 14.6 minutes of activity attributed to transit use each day.

The study monitored 706 participants from Washington who were provided an accelerometer and GPS and also maintained a 7-day log of their travel. Researchers reviewed the physical activity pattern implications of participants using transit. Results from the study found that transit-related walking contributed the most to increased daily physical activity among transit users. Participants, who used transit, were likely to see a 12 minute increase in physical activity on transit days in comparison to non-transit days, when demographic factors were controlled for. “Unfortunately, a low percentage of the U.S. population uses public transportation on a regular basis, with fewer than 5 percent of U.S. adults being transit users and approximately 2 percent of trips being made by public transportation in 2009. A shift toward more public transit use may be particularly influential on the physical activity of the many inactive adults not otherwise engaging in recreational physical activity,” the study’s authors explain. [“Relation between higher physical activity and public transit use,” Contact: Brian Saelens, PhD, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, University of Washington Scholl of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, Seattle.]

HPV vaccination rates rise, but still remain low
Despite a significant increase among young women receiving the vaccine that protects against human papillomavirus, HPV vaccination rates remain low and interest in vaccination slightly decreased between 2008 and 2010 according to new findings from the American Journal of Public Health. Findings also showed varying responses to the vaccination between different sociodemographic groups.

Using data from the National Health Interview Survey, researchers investigated the latest trends in HPV vaccination uptake, interest in vaccination from unvaccinated women and reasons for not becoming vaccinated among unvaccinated women. Surveyed participants were women between the ages of 18 and 26.

Results indicated that vaccination uptake increased from 11.6 percent to 34.1 percent between 2008 and 2012. The top reasons for unvaccinated women to remain unvaccinated remained largely the same between 2008 and 2010, as respondents cited lack of need, lack of knowledge and safety concerns. Additional findings found that vaccination rates among Hispanic women or women with limited access to care were particularly low. This population was also more likely to be interested in receiving the vaccine.

“Educational efforts and vaccination initiatives should easily fit into the schedules of young women. This may be achieved by offering vaccinations and vaccine information in neighborhood pharmacies and college health clinics,” the study’s authors suggest.

[“Vaccination interest and trends in human papillomavirus vaccine uptake in young adult women aged 18 to 26 years in the United States: An analysis using the 2008-2012 National Health Interview Survey,” Contact: Susanne Schmidt, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.]

Find a full list of research papers to be published online on March 13, 2014, at 4 p.m. below:

  • Influence of Point-of-Sale Tobacco Displays and Graphic Health Warning Signs on Adults: Evidence from a Virtual Store Experimental Study
  • Higher Physical Activity Is Directly Related to Public Transit Use
  • "I did it for us and I would do it again." Perspectives of rural Latinos on providing biospecimens for research
  • Resistant to the Recession: US adults maintain cooking and away-from-home eating patterns during times of economic turbulence
  • Access to supermarkets and fruit and vegetable intake: Is it just a matter of physical proximity?
  • Strategic messaging for sugar-sweetened beverage taxation: Lessons from recent political campaigns
  • Impact of a rewards-based incentive program on promoting fruit and vegetable purchases
  • Secular trends in fast-food restaurant use among adolescents and maternal caregivers from 1999-2010
  • Neighborhood Food Environment and Obesity in Community Dwelling Older Adults: Individual and Neighborhood Effects
  • Examination of a Theoretical Model for OHRQoL among Youth with Cleft
  • The Long-term Consequences of Adolescent Gang Membership on Adult Functioning
  • Longitudinal Associations between Poverty and Obesity from Birth through Adolescence
  • National trends in smoking behaviors among Mexican, Puerto Rican and Cuban men and women in the US
  • Socioeconomic Status, Food Security, and Dental Caries in U.S. Children
  • Cigarette Smoking, Desire to Quit, and Tobacco-Related Counseling among Adult Health Center Patients
  • Social network communities are associated with health behavior: an observational sociocentric network study of latrine ownership in rural India
  • Dentists' willingness to provide expanding HIV screening in oral health care settings: Results from a nationally representative survey
  • Neighborhood Contributions to Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Obesity among New York City Adults
  • Insurer views regarding reimbursement of preventive services in the dental setting: Results from a qualitative study
  • Vaccination Interest and Trends in HPV Vaccine Uptake in Young Adult Women aged 18-26 in the U.S. - An Analysis using the 2008-2012 National Health Interview Survey
  • Early life conditions, adverse life events, and chewing ability at middle and later adulthood
  • Primary Prevention of Falls: Effectiveness of a Statewide Program
  • A social network informed latent class analysis of patterns of substance use, sexual behavior and mental health, Winnipeg, Canada.

The articles above were published online by the American Journal of Public Health® under “First Look.”  “First Look” articles have undergone peer review, copyediting and approval by authors but have not yet been printed to paper or posted online by issue. The American Journal of Public Health is published by the American Public Health Association.

More information is available at APHA online.

Complimentary online access to the journal is available to credentialed members of the media.  Address inquiries to Kimberly Short at APHA, 202-777-2511, or via e-mail. A single print issue of the Journal is available for $35 from the Journal’s Subscriptions department. If you are not a member of the press, a member of APHA or a subscriber, online single issue access is $22 and online single article access is $20 available online.

If you would like to order or renew a subscription, visit AJPH online or for direct customer service, call 202-777-2516 or email.

To stay up to date on the latest in public health research, sign up for new content email alerts online.