Posts Tagged by wellness
|October 16, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Drug and Alcohol, Health, Policy, Research, Youth Development||
A report from The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at Georgetown University suggests that youth are seeing more alcohol advertisements promoting its use than other messages such as health risks or dangers of driving while intoxicated. The report, Drowned Out: Alcohol Industry “Responsibility” Advertising on Television 2001-2005 concluded that underage youth are exposed to larger amounts of industry television spots touting the enjoyment of alcohol than those promoting responsible use.
Between the years of 2001-2005:
- Underage youth were 239 times more likely to view advertisements promoting alcohol than industry-sponsored ads on the hazards of under-age consumption of alcohol
- Youth were more likely to see an industry advertisement warning against drinking and driving than against under-age consumption, but were more likely overall to see advertisements promoting the enoyment of a particular brand of alcohol
- Out of 300 alcohol brands that purchased television advertising, 8.3 percent (25) placed advertisements with a focus on responsible use of their product
Although data from 2010 indicate that the rate of alcohol use among youths aged 12 to 17 remained stable, the public health/public policy concern valid as alcohol is the most widely use illegal drug by underage youth in America. In addition, as stated in another recent bulletin from CAMY, African-American youth 12-20 years of age are seeing more advertisements for alcohol in the media compared to their peers of the same age group. The researchers suggest this is due to specific targeting of African American consumers by some brands, as well as the pattern of print and broadcast media exposure among the African American population.
Is media exposure to alcohol advertising contributing to the use of alcohol by underage youth? What about the promotion of certain brands of alcohol on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter (not measured in the study)?
|September 21, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Behavorial Health, Elderly, Health, Research||
An international study out of Australia found that happiness peaks (on average) during a person’s 60’s, then begins to decline, before dropping off considerably. Earlier this year, Dr Tony Beatton of Queensland University of Technology and Professor Paul Frijters of The University of Queensland reported findings from their analysis of data from approximately 60,000 people from Australia, Britain and Germany. Highlights include:
- Persons entering middle/retirement age (55 to 75 years) reported the highest levels of happiness
- The data from Germany showed a decrease in happiness as persons entered adulthood, then a peak at age 65 – a pattern different from the other data
- Happiness dropped significantly after age 75 across cases
This research adds to the discussion of the ‘U bend of happiness” (see a great write-up on it in The Economist), the concept that happiness ultimately culminates in late middle age; but Beatton and Frijters also address the drop in happiness after age 75, suggesting that it is related to the onset or worsening of health problems. This aligns with prior research on the relationship between the presentation of depression symptoms and medical issues/illnesses among the elderly population.
Study Citation: Frijters, Paul & Beatton, Tony, 2012. “The mystery of the U-shaped relationship between happiness and age,” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 525-542
|October 12, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Federal Government, Management, Policy||
The latest edition of the policy journal The Future of Children (a collaborative project between Princeton University and the Brookings Institution) was formally released last week at an event in Washington, DC. The theme of the Fall 2011 issue is Work and Family, a timely topic what with approximately 70 percent of mothers currently in the workforce and an increasing number of single-parent families in the country. Yet another new demographic trend adding strain to the work-family balance is the large number of aging and elderly parents, grandparents and other relatives who are or will be in need of care as their health declines.
I included a link to the audio of the event at the bottom of this post and encourage interested readers to give it a listen. The presentation concludes with a question and answer segment that expounds on methods to best balance both the needs of businesses and their employees around work-family policy changes such as paid leave (not paid for by the employer) and scheduling flexibility such as “right to request”. An aside – my personal favorite is a comment by a woman who claims that childbirth, based on her experience, only requires a 2-day disability leave.
The journal features 9 submissions on topics ranging from elder care, to an international examination of family leave practices in competitive economies, to the role of the government in work-family conflicts. With the federal government on the sidelines, unable to move forward with any legislation, now may be the time for state-level policy-makers and businesses to take the lead and address the very real issue of work-family conflicts. Some takeaways from the journal’s executive summary include:
- flexibility in the workplace is a win-win as it is associated with higher productivity for employers and better health, job engagement and satisfaction for employees;
- family leave policies are not equitable – they are more often seen in higher-paying professions; and
- there is a need for policies in the workplace that realistically support men and women carrying the responsibility for young child and elder care to reduce work-family conflict at little to no additional cost to the employer.
Work and Family Balance
|September 26, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Health, Policy, Research||
The human and economic cost of the nation’s ever-increasing obesity rate is the focus of a brief from the RAND Corporation cautioning against inaction in the face of potentially severe public health outcomes as well as the looming expense of future care for this segment of the population.
The brief, entitled Preventing Obesity and Its Consequences: Highlighting Years of RAND Health Research, summarizes research that links obesity to diabetes and heart disease, as well as evidence that obesity can exacerbate conditions such as arthritis or hypertension. In addition, studies have shown that obese women experience greater complications to fertility and pregnancy, and may even not survive some cancers at the same rate as their non-obese counterparts.
With the costs clearly identified, RAND has turned their attention to identifying and evaluating public policy responses to this potential health crisis. Measures such as accessibility to supermarkets (as opposed to fast food chains and conveniences stores), healthier school meals, promoting urban areas for recreation and physical exercise and taxes on non-nutritional items such as soda and junk food are discussed in this paper, as well as current studies being conducted by RAND on this important issue.
Can public policy drive better food and fitness choices? Have you successfully addressed nutrition and wellness issues of clients (or staff) at your nonprofit?
|May 23, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Behavorial Health, Drug and Alcohol, Federal Government, Health, Research||
According to 2008 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 19 percent of Pennsylvania women ages 18 to 44 reported drinking more than 4 drinks at one occasion during the past month. This amount is above the national median of 14.7 percent of women of childbearing age.
Alcohol and women’s health, including the causes and effects of alcohol abuse and methods of prevention and treatment of alcohol addiction, are a key area of research by the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) at the National Institute of Health (NIH). The report, Alcohol: A Women’s Health Issue, a collaboration between NIH and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is a thorough overview of the long-term impacts of alcohol use on the health and overall well-being of women.
The brief presents information on:
- the specific (and unique) physical health effects of alcohol for women,
- the risks of heavy drinking,
- demographic data on women who are heavy drinkers, and
- the future direction of research on this health concern.
The brief is available online at no cost. .
|May 18, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Federal Government, Health||
A technical report from the RAND Corporation presents a compilation of resources and strategies for community and faith-based organizations to expand and improve their health services. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides opportunities for organizations to build capacity and diversify their healthcare programming and activities based on community needs. Is your organization ready to take a leading role in improving the health and well-being of your neighbors, clients and stakeholders?
The report, Source Materials for the Healthy Communities Toolkit: Resource Guide for Community and Faith-Based Organizations by Joie D. Acosta, Anita Chandra, Malcolm V. Williams and Lois M. Davis is available as an e-book (and as a PDF) at the RAND website. The information in the brief will eventually be integrated into a toolkit to help community organizations in future health initiatives and preventive efforts.