AJPH September 2017 highlights

Date: Sep 21 2017

AJPH research on sugar-sweetened soda and weight, gun retailers as partners for suicide prevention, Twitter as predictor of health outcomes, changing nutrition patterns in Chinese social classes

CONTACT: For copies of articles or for information on scheduling interviews with an expert, please contact David Fouse.

American Journal of Public Health November Issue research highlights:

Two-year changes in sugar-sweetened and diet soda consumption in relation to weight and waist circumference change in a cohort of Mexican women

This study followed women from the Mexican Teachers’ Cohort from 2006 to 2008. Researchers used linear regression to evaluate changes in sugar-sweetened and sugar-free soda consumption in relation to changes in weight and waist circumference, adjusting for lifestyle and other dietary factors.

Compared with women that did not change their consumption, a decrease in sugar-sweetened soda consumption by more than 1 serving per week was associated with less weight gain, on average 0.4 kg less. An increase in sugar-sweetened soda by more than 1 serving per week was associated with a 0.3 kilogram increase in weight compared to those that did not change intake. An increase of 1 serving per day of sugar-sweetened soda was associated with a 1.0 kg increase in weight. The results for waist circumference were similar.

This study concluded that moderate changes in consumption of sugar-sweetened soda over a 2-year period were associated with corresponding changes in weight and waist circumference among Mexican women.

["Two-year changes in sugar-sweetened and diet soda consumption in relation to weight and waist circumference change in a cohort of Mexican women." Contact: Martin Lajous, Center for Research on Population Health, National Institute of Public Health Ciudad de México, México].

Law enforcement and gun retailers as partners for safely storing guns to prevent suicide: A study in 8 mountain west states

Researchers examined the extent to which law enforcement agencies and gun retailers are willing to offer voluntary, temporary storage as a part of an effort to prevent firearm suicide. Suicide deaths in the United States totaled 44,193 in 2015, and 50 percent of them involved guns. Guns are the most lethal means of attempting suicide, with a case fatality rate of approximately 91 percent. Researchers set out to examine the feasibility of storing guns out of the home as a suicide prevention method.

This study invited all law enforcement agencies and gun retailers in 8 U.S. states (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY) to respond to questionnaires asking about their willingness to offer temporary gun storage and their recommendations to gun owners about safe storage.

Seventy-five percent of all law enforcement agencies indicated through the survey that they already provided temporary firearm storage, while 48 percent of gun retailers indicated the already provided temporary firearm storage. Researchers found that law enforcement was most willing to provide storage when a gun owner was concerned about the mental health of a family member. Retailers were more receptive to providing storage when visitors were coming or for people wanting storage while traveling. Both groups recommended locking devices within the home, but law enforcement agencies were slightly more favorable to storing guns away from the home.

In all, this study found that law enforcement agencies and gun retailers are important resources for families concerned about suicide.

["Law enforcement and gun retailers as partners for safely storing guns to prevent suicide: A study in 8 mountain west states." Contact Carol W. Runyan, MPH, PhD, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, Colorado].

Geotagged US tweets as predictors of county-level health outcomes, 2015–2016

This study examined if geotagged Twitter data could be used to create national indicators of social environment, as well as small-area indicators of social modeling of health behaviors, and to test associations with county-level health outcomes while controlling for demographic characteristics.

Researchers used Twitter’s streaming application programming interface to continuously collect a random 1 percent subset of publicly available geo-located tweets in the contiguous United States. They collected approximately 80 million geotagged tweets from 603,363 unique Twitter users over a 12-month period, April 2015 through March 2016.

Across 3,135 counties, Twitter indicators of happiness, food, and physical activity were associated with lower premature mortality, obesity, and physical inactivity. Alcohol-use tweets predicted higher alcohol-use–related mortality. From this data, researchers concluded that social media represents a new type of real-time data that may enable public health officials to examine movement of norms, sentiment, and behaviors that may herald emerging issues or outbreaks. Tracking social media data could provide a way for public health to intervene and prevent adverse health events, and measure the impact of health interventions.

["Geotagged US tweets as predictors of county-level health outcomes, 2015–2016." Contact: Quynh C. Nguyen, MD, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park, Maryland].

The changing pattern of nutrition intake by social class in contemporary China, 1991–2011

This study explored the changing pattern of nutrition intake by social class in contemporary China. Researchers defined social class by employment and per capita household income levels.

The study found that the relation between social class and nutrition intake in China changed significantly between 1991 and 2011. In the early 1990s, the lowest social class (defined by employment or income) had more caloric intake than did the highest social class; 20 years later, however, the relation reversed, and the lowest social class consumed significantly fewer calories.

Researchers concluded that China has seen a great reversal in its social class–nutrition relationship since the early 1990s. Our study calls for wider recognition that insufficient consumption of food and nutrition is increasingly an issue for people in the lower social classes in China.

["The changing pattern of nutrition intake by social class in contemporary China, 1991–2011." Contact: Wei Zhang, PhD, School of Marxism, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China].

Find a full list of AJPH research papers published online below:

  • Propagandizing the Healthy, Communist Life
  • Two-year changes in sugar-sweetened and diet soda consumption in relation to weight and waist circumference change in a cohort of Mexican women
  • A Revolutionary Attack on Tobacco: Bolshevik Anti-Smoking Campaigns in the 1920s
  • Quite Outside Our Imagination: Alan Gregg Diary Entries During his Trip to the Soviet Union, December 1927
  • Geotagged U.S. Tweets (2015-2016) as Predictors of County-Level Health Outcomes
  • Emergency Medical Service Personnel's Risk from Violence While Serving the Community
  • The Great Reversal: The Changing Pattern of Nutrition Intake by Social Class in Contemporary China
  • Enrollment in California's Medicaid Program after the Affordable Care Act Expansion
  • Law Enforcement And Gun Retailers As Partners For Safely Storing Guns To Prevent Suicide - A Study In Eight Mountain West States
  • Socioeconomic, racial and ethnic disparities in the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among US children
  • Value of Public Health Funding in Preventing Hospital Bloodstream Infections
  • Diagnostic Accuracy of Two Food Insecurity Screeners Recommended for Use in Health Care Settings
  • A smartphone application can reduce time-to-notification of sexually transmitted infection (STI) test results
  • Legacies of 1917 in Contemporary Russian Public Health: addiction, HIV and abortion
  • A social network analysis of the financial relationships underpinning development of prominent health and fitness apps
  • Nursing and the Public Health Legacies of the Russian Revolution

The articles above were published online Sept. 21, 2017, at 4 p.m. EDT by AJPH 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. AJPH is published by the American Public Health Association, and is available at www.ajph.org.

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