AJPH December 2018 Highlights

Date: Dec 20 2018

CONTACT: Megan Lowry, 202-777-3913

AJPH publishes research on sugar-sweetened beverage taxes, healthy fast-food kids' menus, Harvey flooding inequities and more.

American Journal of Public Health February issue research highlights:

National sugar-sweetened beverage tax would save $45.6 billion, save lives

Researchers estimated the effects of a national sugar-sweetened beverage tax, and found that with 100 percent price-pass the effects would:

  • Reduce total lifetime health care costs by $273 per person or $45.68 billion nationally, largely attributable to reduced costs for acute events and chronic disease;
  • Prevent 4,494 lifetime myocardial infarction events;
  • Prevent 1,540 lifetime total ischemic heart disease deaths per million adults;
  • Increase lifetime quality-adjusted life years by 0.020 years for the average adult, corresponding to 2.3 million quality-adjusted life years across the population; and
  • Yield substantial cost savings for both the government and overall U.S. private sector, with financial gains of $106.82 billion and $15.78 billion, respectively.

Researchers also found that the discounted lifetime implementation costs of $1.84 billion (divided between government tax collection costs and beverage industry compliance costs) were dwarfed by the health care cost savings of $45.68 billion, making the intervention highly cost-saving. And when evaluated over time, the SSB tax was cost-saving after just one year of implementation.

The study also analyzes the specific impacts on key stakeholder groups including the government, private sector and beverage industry.

[Author Contact: Parke Wilde, Friedman School, Tufts University, Boston, MA. “Cost-Effectiveness of a US National Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax With a Multistakeholder Approach: Who Pays and Who Benefits”].

Healthy fast-food options for kids increased over 10 years, but are leveling off

Healthy fast-food menu options for kids increased from 2004 to 2015, researchers found, but leveled off starting in 2013. From 2004 to 2015, healthier sides on kids’ menus increased by 57.5 percent. Over the same time period, healthier beverage options increased by 25 percent. However, these items remain relatively uncommon, with less than 20 percent of kids’ meal bundles and 30 percent of fast food chains including healthier items by default.

Study authors concluded that given that sides and beverages contribute substantially to the total calories and quality of restaurant meals, increases in the availability of healthier side and beverage options have important implications for the approximately 25.3 million U.S. children who eat out on a given day. Additional efforts are needed to encourage restaurants to take the stronger step of offering these items by default.

[Author Contact: Megan P. Mueller, University of California, Los Angeles, California. “Availability of Healthier Children’s Menu Items in the Top Selling Quick Service Restaurant Chains (2004–2015)”].

Hurricane Harvey flooding greater in black, Hispanic and socioeconomically deprived neighborhoods

This study found that the areal extent of flooding after Hurricane Harvey was significantly greater in neighborhoods with a higher proportion of black, Hispanic and socioeconomically deprived residents. Given the well-documented physical and mental health problems associated with flooding, racial/ethnic minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals residing in highly inundated neighborhoods are likely to suffer the additional burden of adverse health outcomes.

Researchers concluded that their results provide evidence of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic injustices in the distribution of flooding.

[Author Contact: Jayajit Chakraborty, Professor, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX. “Exploring the Environmental Justice Implications of Hurricane Harvey Flooding in Greater Houston, Texas”]. 

Sex workers in Baltimore experience frequent exposure to abusive police practices

This survey of female sex workers in Baltimore found that 78 percent reported lifetime abusive police encounters and 41 percent reported daily or weekly encounters of any type. In the previous three months, 22 percent experienced client-perpetrated violence. Heroin users (70 percent of participants) reported more abusive encounters and more client-perpetrated violence (26 percent vs. 12 percent).

Study authors concluded that frequent exposures to abusive police practices appear to contribute to an environment where client-perpetrated violence is regularly experienced. For female sex workers who inject drugs, police exposure and client-perpetrated violence appear amplified.

[Author Contact: Katherine Footer, Hampton House, Baltimore, MD. “Police-Related Correlates of Client-Perpetrated Violence Among Female Sex Workers in Baltimore City, Maryland”].

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

  • Equipping Public Spaces To Facilitate Rapid Point-Of-Injury Hemorrhage Control After Mass Casualty
  • Core Competencies And A Workforce Framework For Community Health Workers: A Model For Advancing The Profession
  • Addressing The Rural Opioid Addiction And Overdose Crisis Through Cross-Sector Collaboration: Little Falls, Minnesota
  • Non-Targeted Diabetes Screening In A Navajo Nation Emergency Department
  • Cost-Effectiveness Of A U.S. National Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax Using A Multi-Stakeholder Approach: Who Pays And Who Benefits?
  • Law Enforcement Agencies’€™ Perceptions Of The Benefits And Barriers Of Temporary Firearm Storage To Prevent Suicide.
  • Economic Vulnerability Among US Women Healthcare Workers: Potential Impact Of A $15/Hour Minimum Wage
  • Availability Of Healthier Children’s Menu Items In The Top Selling Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Chains (2004-2015)
  • Police Related Correlates Of Client Violence Among Female Sex Workers In Baltimore City, Maryland, USA
  • Providing HIV Comprehensive Care For Latino/A Injecting Drug Users In Philadelphia, 2013-2018
  • Carfentanil-Associated Mortality In Wayne County Michigan 2015-2017
  • Transnational Tobacco Companies And New Nicotine Delivery Systems
  • Tobacco Use And Cessation Behaviors In Young Adults: 2016 National Health Interview Survey
  • Slowdown In The Decline Of Tuberculosis Rates In California, 2000-2016
  • Integrated Service Delivery And Health-Related Quality Of Life Of Individuals In Permanent Supportive Housing Who Were Formerly Chronically Homeless
  • Collecting Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity Information At Death
  • Emergency Department And Hospital Care For Opioid Use Disorder: Implementation Of Statewide Standards In Rhode Island, 2017-2018
  • Opioid-Related Outcomes In West Virginia, 2008-2016
  • Exploring The Environmental Justice Implications Of Hurricane Harvey Flooding In Greater Houston, Texas

The articles above will be published online December 20, 2018, 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.

Complimentary online access to the Journal is available to credentialed members of the media. Address inquiries to Megan Lowry at APHA. 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 $30, and online single-article access is $22 at www.ajph.org. For direct customer service, call 202-777-2516, or email us.

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The American Journal of Public Health is the monthly journal of the American Public Health Association. APHA champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the public health profession, promote best practices and share the latest public health research and information. We are the only organization that influences federal policy, has a nearly 150-year perspective and brings together members from all fields of public health. Learn more at www.apha.org.