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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 14, Issue 10 (October 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) How do U.S. shoppers choose where to shop for groceries? Some studies have found that shoppers have [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Afforestation on the Species Diversity of the Soil Seed Bank and Understory Vegetation in the Hill-Gullied Loess Plateau, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1285; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101285
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 22 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract
The Chinese Loess Plateau region has long been suffering from serious soil erosion. Thus, large-scale afforestation has continued during the past decades in order to control soil erosion. Afforestation can dramatically alter nutrient cycles, affect soil-carbon storage, and change hydrology. However, it is
[...] Read more.
The Chinese Loess Plateau region has long been suffering from serious soil erosion. Thus, large-scale afforestation has continued during the past decades in order to control soil erosion. Afforestation can dramatically alter nutrient cycles, affect soil-carbon storage, and change hydrology. However, it is unknown how afforestation influences species diversity of the soil seed bank and understory vegetation compared with spontaneous restoration of abandoned land. Forest land with trees planted 30 years ago, abandoned slope land restored spontaneously for 30 years, and the corresponding slopes with remnant natural vegetation were selected as sampling sites. The species richness both in the soil seed bank and vegetation was significantly higher on the afforested slope compared to the spontaneously restored abandoned land. The species similarity between the afforested slope and the remnant slope land was high both in the soil seed bank and standing vegetation compared to the abandoned land. The soil seed bank density varied from 1778 ± 187 to 3896 ± 221 seeds/m2, and more than half of it was constituted by annual and biennial species, with no significant difference among sampling habitats. However, the afforested slope had higher seed density of grass and shrub/subshrubs compared to the abandoned slope. The present study indicates that in the study region, characterized by serious soil erosion, afforestation can better facilitate vegetation succession compared to spontaneously restoration of abandoned slope land. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of In Utero Exposure to Di-n-Butyl Phthalate on Testicular Development in Rat
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1284; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101284
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract
Humans are inevitably exposed to ubiquitous phthalate esters (PAEs). In utero exposure to di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) induces abnormal development of the testis and reproductive tract in male offspring, which correspond closely with the human condition of testicular dysgenesis syndrome (TDS)-like syndrome. However, the
[...] Read more.
Humans are inevitably exposed to ubiquitous phthalate esters (PAEs). In utero exposure to di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) induces abnormal development of the testis and reproductive tract in male offspring, which correspond closely with the human condition of testicular dysgenesis syndrome (TDS)-like syndrome. However, the underlying mechanisms have not been elucidated in detail. In this study, pregnant rats were orally exposed to either corn oil (controls) or DBP at three different doses by gavage during Gestational Days 12.5–21.5. Pathological examinations were performed for toxicity evaluation. Proliferation and apoptosis related proteins (ras related dexamethasone induced 1 (Rasd1), mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases1/2 (MEK1/2), Bcl-2, and Bax) were measured for mechanisms exploration. The results showed that different doses of DBP caused male developmental and reproductive toxicity in rats, including the decrease of anogenital distance (AGD), the histological damage of testis, and apoptosis of seminiferous tubule cells. Our data suggested that DBP played chronic and continuous toxic roles on male reproductive system by disrupting expression of Rasd1 and MEK1/2 as well as Bcl-2/Bax ratio. Further research is warranted. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Doing Good Again? A Multilevel Institutional Perspective on Corporate Environmental Responsibility and Philanthropic Strategy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1283; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101283
Received: 4 September 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 22 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract
This study investigates the relationship between corporate environmental responsibility and corporate philanthropy. Using a sample of Chinese listed firms from 2008 to 2013, this paper examines the role of corporate environmental responsibility in corporate philanthropy and the moderating influence of the institutional environment
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This study investigates the relationship between corporate environmental responsibility and corporate philanthropy. Using a sample of Chinese listed firms from 2008 to 2013, this paper examines the role of corporate environmental responsibility in corporate philanthropy and the moderating influence of the institutional environment using multilevel analysis. The results show that corporate eco-friendly events are positively associated with corporate philanthropic strategy to a significant degree. Provincial-level government intervention positively moderate the positive relationship between eco-friendly events and corporate philanthropy and government corruption is negatively moderate the relationship. All these results are robust according to robustness checks. These findings provide a new perspective on corporate philanthropic strategy as a means to obtain critical resources from the government in order to compensate for the loss made on environmental responsibility. Moreover, the institutional environment is proved here to play an important role in corporate philanthropic strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Environment, Green Operations and Sustainability)
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Open AccessReview Endocrine Disruptors Leading to Obesity and Related Diseases
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1282; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101282
Received: 12 August 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1020 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The review aims to comprehensively present the impact of exposure to endocrine disruptors (EDs) in relation to the clinical manifestation of obesity and related diseases, including diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, carcinogenesis and infertility. EDs are strong participants in the obesity epidemic
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The review aims to comprehensively present the impact of exposure to endocrine disruptors (EDs) in relation to the clinical manifestation of obesity and related diseases, including diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, carcinogenesis and infertility. EDs are strong participants in the obesity epidemic scenery by interfering with cellular morphological and biochemical processes; by inducing inflammatory responses; and by presenting transcriptional and oncogenic activity. Obesity and lipotoxicity enhancement occur through reprogramming and/or remodeling of germline epigenome by exposure to EDs. Specific population groups are vulnerable to ED exposure due to current dietary and environmental conditions. Obesity, morbidity and carcinogenicity induced by ED exposure are an evolving reality. Therefore, a new collective strategic approach is deemed essential, for the reappraisal of current global conditions pertaining to energy management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endocrine Disruptors Leading to Obesity and Related Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle The Relationship between Starting to Drink and Psychological Distress, Sleep Disturbance after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster: The Fukushima Health Management Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1281; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101281
Received: 6 October 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (797 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This longitudinal study aimed to investigate the prevalence of newly-started drinkers and their continuing drinking behaviors after the Great East Japan earthquake. Moreover, the relationships between newly-started drinking and psychological factor, disaster-related experience, and perceived radiation risk were examined. We used data from
[...] Read more.
This longitudinal study aimed to investigate the prevalence of newly-started drinkers and their continuing drinking behaviors after the Great East Japan earthquake. Moreover, the relationships between newly-started drinking and psychological factor, disaster-related experience, and perceived radiation risk were examined. We used data from 37,687 pre-disaster non-drinkers who participated in the 2012 and 2013 surveys conducted in Fukushima. We defined newly-started drinkers as those who did not drink before the disaster but who began drinking after the disaster, based on information collected retrospectively. In 2012, 9.6% of non-drinkers began drinking, of which the prevalence of heavy drinkers was 18.4%. The prevalence of continued drinking among newly-started drinkers in 2013 was 53.8%. Logistic regression analyses revealed post-disaster newly-started drinking was significantly associated with being male, less than 65 years old, sleep dissatisfaction and psychological distress (Kessler 6 ≤ 13) when this model was adjusted for disaster-related experience and perceived radiation risk. Moreover, psychological distress and heavy drinking were significant risk factors for continued drinking among newly-started drinkers. Newly-started drinkers might use alcohol to cope with disaster-related stress. Thus, they may be targeted for disaster-related health services. Moreover, early intervention should encourage responsible drinking, since post-disaster heavy drinkers were likely to continue heavy drinking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
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Open AccessArticle The Assessment of Toxic Metals in Plants Used in Cosmetics and Cosmetology
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1280; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101280
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 22 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract
Heavy metals polluting the natural environment are absorbed by plants. The use of herbs as components of cosmetics may pose a health risk for humans. The aim of the study was to determine the concentrations of Pb, Cd and Hg in selected species
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Heavy metals polluting the natural environment are absorbed by plants. The use of herbs as components of cosmetics may pose a health risk for humans. The aim of the study was to determine the concentrations of Pb, Cd and Hg in selected species of herbs (horsetail Equisetum arvense, nettle Urtica dioica, St. John’s wort Hypericum perforatum, wormwood Artemisia absinthium, yarrow Achillea millefolium, cottonwood Solidago virgaurea) self-collected from the natural environment in two different locations, and purchased in stores on the territory of Poland. The concentration of the metals studied was: 4.67–23.8 mg/kg Pb, 0.01–1.51 mg/kg Cd, 0.005–0.028 mg/kg Hg. Different concentrations of metals, depending on species and origin of plants, were found. The mean concentration of all studied metals was the lowest in St. John’s wort, and the highest in nettle. In herbs purchased in Polish stores, the concentration of Pb was higher than in plants self-collected in the natural environment. Full article
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Open AccessBrief Report Nature Elements and Fundamental Motor Skill Development Opportunities at Five Elementary School Districts in British Columbia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1279; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101279
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract
The majority of Canadian children are not physically active enough for healthy development. School playgrounds are a primary location to promote physical activity and motor skill practice. The benefits of children’s play in nature have also been highlighted, but few studies have evaluated
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The majority of Canadian children are not physically active enough for healthy development. School playgrounds are a primary location to promote physical activity and motor skill practice. The benefits of children’s play in nature have also been highlighted, but few studies have evaluated children’s access and exposure to nature for play on school grounds. This study examined children’s access to nature on school grounds and the opportunities afforded by those natural elements for motor skill practice. Results: Extensive naturescapes (multiple nature elements in one setting) were not common, and natural elements were limited, ranging from 1.97 to 5.71 elements/school. The most common element was a forested area (26.5% of all natural elements identified). In comparison to built structures, the number of natural elements was low. Some elements differed between school districts and appeared to be related to local geography and terrain (hilly, rocky terrain, tidal flats, etc.). Our assessment showed that naturescape elements afforded opportunities for the development of some key fundamental motor skills (FMS), specifically, locomotor and stability skills, but opportunities to develop manipulative skills were limited. To maximize potential FMS development, physical literacy, and psycho-social benefits, additional elements or more comprehensive multi-element naturescapes and facilitation (social or environmental) are recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
Open AccessArticle Impact of Psychosocial Environment on Young Children’s Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1278; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101278
Received: 18 September 2017 / Revised: 22 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract
Objective: The impact of maternal psychosocial stress on young children’s mental difficulties is unclear. This study investigated the joint effects of the socioeconomic status and parent-child relationships on emotional and behavioral difficulties in preschool children. Methods: The case-control study included 1416 mothers and
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Objective: The impact of maternal psychosocial stress on young children’s mental difficulties is unclear. This study investigated the joint effects of the socioeconomic status and parent-child relationships on emotional and behavioral difficulties in preschool children. Methods: The case-control study included 1416 mothers and their 4–6 year-old children pairs, living in Kaunas city, Lithuania. The parent-child relationships were measured using the Parent-Child Dysfunctional Interaction subscale. Children’s mental health difficulties were assessed by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. We used logistic regression models to indicate the strength of the associations. Results: Lower socioeconomic status women more often than higher ones reported pathological mother-child relations. Low education level was associated with statistically significant increase adjusted odds ratios for emotional symptoms and total behavioral difficulties. With reference to the group of better-educated mothers and normal mother-child relations, low education and pathological mother-child relations statistically significantly increased the risk of total difficulties in 4–6 year-old children; the adjusted odds ratios were 2.45; 95% CI 1.51–3.99. Conclusions: Pathological mother-child relations strengthened the effect of lower education on the increased risk of emotional and behavioral difficulties in preschool-age children. Measures oriented towards health behavior and psychosocial difficulties management may decrease children’s emotional and behavioral difficulties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Open AccessArticle Psycho-Physiological Associates of Dyspnea in Hospitalized Patients with Interstitial Lung Diseases: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1277; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101277
Received: 13 August 2017 / Revised: 5 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract
Dyspnea has been found to be an independent predictor of mortality among patients with respiratory diseases and is often regarded as a difficult symptom to control in patients with interstitial lung diseases (ILDs). Previous studies have found an association of psychological and physiological
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Dyspnea has been found to be an independent predictor of mortality among patients with respiratory diseases and is often regarded as a difficult symptom to control in patients with interstitial lung diseases (ILDs). Previous studies have found an association of psychological and physiological factors with dyspnea among patients with chronic obstructive airway diseases. However, symptom management of hospitalized patients with ILDs has been hampered by difficulty in priority, since they are often admitted with multiple psycho-physiological needs. This study examined the prevalence of dyspnea and the psycho-physiological factors associated with it among hospitalized Chinese patients with ILDs. We studied 165 hospitalized patients with ILDs recruited consecutively over three months in a public hospital in Guangzhou, China. Dyspnea and common psycho-physiological factors, including cough symptoms, activity capacity, lung function, physical and mental health status, and anxiety and depression symptoms, were measured. By ordered logistic regression, level of dyspnea statistically significantly affected performance in a six-minute walk test and physical functioning in work or other regular daily activities in hospitalized patients with ILDs. Respiratory rehabilitation with an appropriate intensity of exercise training or other strategies for enhancing the physical functioning of this population with moderate and severe levels of dyspnea should be prioritized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
Open AccessReview Association between Obesity and Puberty Timing: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1266; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101266
Received: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract
This systematic review and meta-analysis examined the associations between obesity and puberty timing based on scientific evidence. Eight electronic databases were searched up to February 2017 for eligible studies, and two reviewers screened the articles and extracted the data independently. A total of
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This systematic review and meta-analysis examined the associations between obesity and puberty timing based on scientific evidence. Eight electronic databases were searched up to February 2017 for eligible studies, and two reviewers screened the articles and extracted the data independently. A total of 11 cohort studies with 4841 subjects met the inclusion criteria. Compared with the group of normal-weight girls, the obese group had more girls with menarche (RR: 1.87, 95% CI: 1.59–2.19, 2 studies). The number of girls with early puberty was significantly higher in the obese group than the normal weight group (RR: 2.44, 95% CI: 1.32–4.52, 5 studies). However, no differences were detected between girls who were obese or normal weight at age of menarche (WMD: −0.53 years, 95% CI: −1.24–0.19, 2 studies). There is no consistent result in the relationship between obesity and timing of pubertal onset in boys. Obesity may contribute to early onset of puberty in girls, while in boys, there is insufficient data. Given the limited number of cohort studies included in this meta-analysis, high-quality studies with strong markers of puberty onset, as well as standardized criteria for defining obesity are needed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effectiveness of a Video-Versus Text-Based Computer-Tailored Intervention for Obesity Prevention after One Year: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1275; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101275
Received: 24 August 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
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Abstract
Computer-tailored programs may help to prevent overweight and obesity, which are worldwide public health problems. This study investigated (1) the 12-month effectiveness of a video- and text-based computer-tailored intervention on energy intake, physical activity, and body mass index (BMI), and (2) the role
[...] Read more.
Computer-tailored programs may help to prevent overweight and obesity, which are worldwide public health problems. This study investigated (1) the 12-month effectiveness of a video- and text-based computer-tailored intervention on energy intake, physical activity, and body mass index (BMI), and (2) the role of educational level in intervention effects. A randomized controlled trial in The Netherlands was conducted, in which adults were allocated to a video-based condition, text-based condition, or control condition, with baseline, 6 months, and 12 months follow-up. Outcome variables were self-reported BMI, physical activity, and energy intake. Mixed-effects modelling was used to investigate intervention effects and potential interaction effects. Compared to the control group, the video intervention group was effective regarding energy intake after 6 months (least squares means (LSM) difference = −205.40, p = 0.00) and 12 months (LSM difference = −128.14, p = 0.03). Only video intervention resulted in lower average daily energy intake after one year (d = 0.12). Educational role and BMI did not seem to interact with this effect. No intervention effects on BMI and physical activity were found. The video computer-tailored intervention was effective on energy intake after one year. This effect was not dependent on educational levels or BMI categories, suggesting that video tailoring can be effective for a broad range of risk groups and may be preferred over text tailoring. Full article
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Open AccessBrief Report Generally Recognized as Safe: Uncertainty Surrounding E-Cigarette Flavoring Safety
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1274; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101274
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 21 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (243 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite scientific uncertainty regarding the relative safety of inhaling e-cigarette aerosol and flavorings, some consumers regard the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) designation as evidence of flavoring safety. In this study, we assessed how college students’ perceptions of
[...] Read more.
Despite scientific uncertainty regarding the relative safety of inhaling e-cigarette aerosol and flavorings, some consumers regard the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) designation as evidence of flavoring safety. In this study, we assessed how college students’ perceptions of e-cigarette flavoring safety are related to understanding of the GRAS designation. During spring 2017, an online questionnaire was administered to college students. Chi-square p-values and multivariable logistic regression were employed to compare perceptions among participants considering e-cigarette flavorings as safe and those considering e-cigarette flavorings to be unsafe. The total sample size was 567 participants. Only 22% knew that GRAS designation meant that a product is safe to ingest, not inhale, inject, or use topically. Of participants who considered flavorings to be GRAS, the majority recognized that the designation meant a product is safe to ingest but also considered it safe to inhale. Although scientific uncertainty on the overall safety of flavorings in e-cigarettes remains, health messaging can educate the public about the GRAS designation and its irrelevance to e-cigarette safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Cigarette Use and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Immobilization of Lead Migrating from Contaminated Soil in Rhizosphere Soil of Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and Hairy Vetch (Vicia villosa) Using Hydroxyapatite
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1273; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101273
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (898 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study conducted plant growth tests using a rhizobox system to quantitatively determine the distance of immobilization lead migrating from contaminated soil into uncontaminated rhizosphere soil, and to assess the lead phases accumulated in rhizosphere soil by sequential extraction. Without the hydroxyapatite, exchangeable
[...] Read more.
This study conducted plant growth tests using a rhizobox system to quantitatively determine the distance of immobilization lead migrating from contaminated soil into uncontaminated rhizosphere soil, and to assess the lead phases accumulated in rhizosphere soil by sequential extraction. Without the hydroxyapatite, exchangeable lead fractions increased as the rhizosphere soil got closer to the contaminated soil. Exchangeable lead fractions were higher even in the rhizosphere soil that shares a boundary with the root surface than in the soil before being planted. Thus, plant growth of hairy vetch was lower in the soil without the hydroxyapatite than in the soil with the hydroxyapatite. The presence of hydroxyapatite may immobilize the majority of lead migrating from contaminated soil into the rhizosphere soil within 1 mm from the contaminated soil. The dominant lead fraction in the rhizosphere soil with the hydroxyapatite was residual. Thus, plant growth was not suppressed and the lead concentration of the plant shoot remained at the background level. These results indicate that the presence of hydroxyapatite in the rhizosphere soil at 5% wt may immobilize most of the lead migrating into the rhizosphere soil within 1 mm from the contaminated soil, resulting in the prevention of lead migration toward the root surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Pollution and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Parents’ Perceived Barriers to Accessing Sports and Recreation Facilities in Ontario, Canada: Exploring the Relationships between Income, Neighbourhood Deprivation, and Community
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1272; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101272
Received: 11 August 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (330 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sports and recreation facilities provide places where children can be physically active. Previous research has shown that availability is often worse in lower-socioeconomic status (SES) areas, yet others have found inverse relationships, no relationships, or mixed findings. Since children’s health behaviours are influenced
[...] Read more.
Sports and recreation facilities provide places where children can be physically active. Previous research has shown that availability is often worse in lower-socioeconomic status (SES) areas, yet others have found inverse relationships, no relationships, or mixed findings. Since children’s health behaviours are influenced by their parents, it is important to understand parents’ perceived barriers to accessing sports and recreation facilities. Data from computer assisted telephone interviews with parents living in Ontario, Canada were merged via postal codes with neighbourhood deprivation data. Multivariable logistic regression modeling was used to estimate the likelihood that parents reported barriers to accessing local sports and recreation facilities. Parents with lower household incomes were more likely to report barriers to access. For each unit increase in deprivation score (i.e., more deprived), the likelihood of reporting a barrier increased 16% (95% CI: 1.04, 1.28). For parents, the relationships between household income, neighbourhood-level deprivation, and barriers are complex. Understanding these relationships is important for research, policy and planning, as parental barriers to opportunities for physical activity have implications for child health behaviours, and ultimately childhood overweight and obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
Open AccessArticle Understanding the Relationship between Socio-Economic Status, Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour, and Adiposity in Young Adult South African Women Using Structural Equation Modelling
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101271
Received: 7 September 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (509 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Socio-economic status (SES) is an important predictor of obesity, but how it is associated with differences in physical activity and sedentary behaviour is less clear. This cross-sectional study examined the association between SES (sum of household assets), physical activity and sedentary time, and
[...] Read more.
Socio-economic status (SES) is an important predictor of obesity, but how it is associated with differences in physical activity and sedentary behaviour is less clear. This cross-sectional study examined the association between SES (sum of household assets), physical activity and sedentary time, and how they predict adiposity. Socio-demographic, anthropometric, and physical activity data on rural (n = 509) and urban (n = 510) South African women (18–23 years) were collected. Overweight and obesity prevalence, and sedentary time, were higher; and moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) was lower, in the urban sample. Structural equation models (SEMs) were constructed for BMI and waist circumference. In the urban sample SES had a direct inverse effect on MVPA (ß; 95% CI, −41.69; −73.40 to −9.98), while in the rural sample SES had a direct effect on BMI (ß; 95% CI, 0.306; 0.03 to 0.59). In the pooled sample, SES had a direct inverse effect on MVPA (ß; 95% CI, −144; −170.34 to −119.04), and MVPA was directly associated with BMI (ß; 95% CI, 0.04; 0.01 to 0.08). The influence of SES, and the role of physical activity and sedentary time on adiposity differs between the urban and rural samples, and the importance of other environmental and behavioural factors must be considered in the development of obesity and the design of effective interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Factors Influencing Early Feeding of Foods and Drinks Containing Free Sugars—A Birth Cohort Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1270; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101270
Received: 19 September 2017 / Revised: 15 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
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Abstract
Early feeding of free sugars to young children can increase the preference for sweetness and the risk of consuming a cariogenic diet high in free sugars later in life. This study aimed to investigate early life factors influencing early introduction of foods/drinks containing
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Early feeding of free sugars to young children can increase the preference for sweetness and the risk of consuming a cariogenic diet high in free sugars later in life. This study aimed to investigate early life factors influencing early introduction of foods/drinks containing free sugars. Data from an ongoing population-based birth cohort study in Australia were used. Mothers of newborn children completed questionnaires at birth and subsequently at ages 3, 6, 12, and 24 months. The outcome was reported feeding (Yes/No) at age 6–9 months of common foods/drinks sources of free sugars (hereafter referred as foods/drinks with free sugars). Household income quartiles, mother’s sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption, and other maternal factors were exposure variables. Analysis was conducted progressively from bivariate to multivariable log-binomial regression with robust standard error estimation to calculate prevalence ratios (PR) of being fed foods/drinks with free sugars at an early age (by 6–9 months). Models for both complete cases and with multiple imputations (MI) for missing data were generated. Of 1479 mother/child dyads, 21% of children had been fed foods/drinks with free sugars. There was a strong income gradient and a significant positive association with maternal SSB consumption. In the complete-case model, income Q1 and Q2 had PRs of 1.9 (1.2–3.1) and 1.8 (1.2–2.6) against Q4, respectively. The PR for mothers ingesting SSB everyday was 1.6 (1.2–2.3). The PR for children who had been breastfed to at least three months was 0.6 (0.5–0.8). Similar findings were observed in the MI model. Household income at birth and maternal behaviours were significant determinants of early feeding of foods/drinks with free sugars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology and Determinants of Dental Caries in Children)
Open AccessArticle Barriers and Facilitators to the Elimination of Asbestos Related Diseases—Stakeholders’ Perspectives
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1269; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101269
Received: 19 September 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 22 October 2017
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Abstract
Despite sound scientific knowledge and evidence that any exposure to asbestos fibers in all of its forms, are carcinogenic to humans, its presence, use and trade is still substantial, including in the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region. Banning the production and use
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Despite sound scientific knowledge and evidence that any exposure to asbestos fibers in all of its forms, are carcinogenic to humans, its presence, use and trade is still substantial, including in the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region. Banning the production and use of all forms of asbestos, as recommended by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and WHO, has been proven as the most efficient evidence-based strategy to eliminate Asbestos Related Diseases (ARDs). To effectively move elimination of ARDs forward, attaining a greater understanding of key stakeholders perspectives was identified as an important action. The WHO Regional Office for Europe, the European Centre for Environment and Health, undertook semi-structured interviews, and follow-up discussions with diverse representatives dealing professionally with asbestos. The interview questionnaire was developed based on the current ARDs WHO Report, the Evidence Implementation Model for Public Health and categories of the theory of diffusion. Data were attained on three main questions within the interview questionnaire: (1) Identifying barriers to implementation of WHO evidence-based asbestos recommendations; (2) Describing roles of key stakeholders; and, (3) Proposing possible solutions. The results demonstrated use of sound and convincing scientific evidence along with economic evidence and facilitators can be used to achieve evidence-based policy development, and comprehensive diverse actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Open AccessArticle Comparison of Summer and Winter Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Older Adults: Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility Reykjavik Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1268; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101268
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
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Abstract
In Iceland, there is a large variation in daylight between summer and winter. The aim of the study was to identify how this large variation influences physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB). Free living PA was measured by a waist-worn accelerometer for
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In Iceland, there is a large variation in daylight between summer and winter. The aim of the study was to identify how this large variation influences physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB). Free living PA was measured by a waist-worn accelerometer for one week during waking hours in 138 community-dwelling older adults (61.1% women, 80.3 ± 4.9 years) during summer and winter months. In general, SB occupied about 75% of the registered wear-time and was highly correlated with age (β = 0.36). Although the differences were small, more time was spent during the summer in all PA categories, except for the moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), and SB was reduced. More lifestyle PA (LSPA) was accumulated in ≥5-min bouts during summer than winter, especially among highly active participants. This information could be important for policy makers and health professionals working with older adults. Accounting for seasonal difference is necessary in analyzing SB and PA data. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Aging and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle How Do Communities Use a Participatory Public Health Approach to Build Resilience? The Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience Project
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101267
Received: 5 October 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
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Abstract
Community resilience is a key concept in the National Health Security Strategy that emphasizes development of multi-sector partnerships and equity through community engagement. Here, we describe the advancement of CR principles through community participatory methods in the Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience
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Community resilience is a key concept in the National Health Security Strategy that emphasizes development of multi-sector partnerships and equity through community engagement. Here, we describe the advancement of CR principles through community participatory methods in the Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience (LACCDR) initiative. LACCDR, an initiative led by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health with academic partners, randomized 16 community coalitions to implement either an Enhanced Standard Preparedness or Community Resilience approach over 24 months. Facilitated by a public health nurse or community educator, coalitions comprised government agencies, community-focused organizations and community members. We used thematic analysis of data from focus groups (n = 5) and interviews (n = 6 coalition members; n = 16 facilitators) to compare coalitions’ strategies for operationalizing community resilience levers of change (engagement, partnership, self-sufficiency, education). We find that strategies that included bidirectional learning helped coalitions understand and adopt resilience principles. Strategies that operationalized community resilience levers in mutually reinforcing ways (e.g., disseminating information while strengthening partnerships) also secured commitment to resilience principles. We review additional challenges and successes in achieving cross-sector collaboration and engaging at-risk groups in the resilience versus preparedness coalitions. The LACCDR example can inform strategies for uptake and implementation of community resilience and uptake of the resilience concept and methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
Open AccessArticle Direct Effects of the Home, School, and Consumer Food Environments on the Association between Food Purchasing Patterns and Dietary Intake among Rural Adolescents in Kentucky and North Carolina, 2017
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1255; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101255
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
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Abstract
Background: Obesity rates are higher among rural versus urban adolescents. To examine possible mechanisms for the rural-urban adolescent obesity disparity, we examined the direct and indirect effects of food purchasing patterns, and the home, school, and consumer food environments on dietary intake
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Background: Obesity rates are higher among rural versus urban adolescents. To examine possible mechanisms for the rural-urban adolescent obesity disparity, we examined the direct and indirect effects of food purchasing patterns, and the home, school, and consumer food environments on dietary intake among rural adolescents. Methods: A baseline survey was conducted among adolescents in eight rural high schools (four in Eastern Kentucky, and four in Eastern North Carolina). Participants answered questions about food purchasing patterns, dietary intake, home food availability, and demographics. The school and consumer food environments were assessed using validated measures from the School Meals Cost Study (United States Department of Agriculture-Mathematica) and the Nutrition Environment Measurement Survey for Stores, Restaurants, and Corner Stores. Results: Of 432 adolescents, 55% were normal weight, 24% were overweight, and 21% were obese. There was a direct association between unhealthy food purchasing patterns (shopping frequently at gas stations, fast food, and dollar stores) and consuming more added sugars, when compared to those with a healthy shopping pattern (shopping less frequently at gas stations, fast food, and dollar stores) [Odds Ratio = 2.41 (95% CI (confidence interval) 0.99, 3.82)]. Those who reported always having fruits and vegetables in the home consumed more servings of fruits and vegetables [OR = 0.31 cups (95% CI 0.22, 0.44)] compared to those who reported never having fruits and vegetables in the home. Adolescents attending a school with a low healthy food availability score consumed fewer servings of fruits and vegetables [−0.001 (95% CI −0.001, 0.0001)] compared to those attending a school with a high healthy food availability score. Conclusions: There are direct associations between food purchasing patterns, the home and school food environments, and dietary intake among rural adolescents. These cross-sectional results informed the development of the “Go Big and Bring it Home” program, a text messaging intervention to improve adolescents’ fruit, vegetable, and healthy beverage intake. Full article
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Open AccessReview Wear and Tear of Tyres: A Stealthy Source of Microplastics in the Environment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1265; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101265
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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Abstract
Wear and tear from tyres significantly contributes to the flow of (micro-)plastics into the environment. This paper compiles the fragmented knowledge on tyre wear and tear characteristics, amounts of particles emitted, pathways in the environment, and the possible effects on humans. The estimated
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Wear and tear from tyres significantly contributes to the flow of (micro-)plastics into the environment. This paper compiles the fragmented knowledge on tyre wear and tear characteristics, amounts of particles emitted, pathways in the environment, and the possible effects on humans. The estimated per capita emission ranges from 0.23 to 4.7 kg/year, with a global average of 0.81 kg/year. The emissions from car tyres (100%) are substantially higher than those of other sources of microplastics, e.g., airplane tyres (2%), artificial turf (12–50%), brake wear (8%) and road markings (5%). Emissions and pathways depend on local factors like road type or sewage systems. The relative contribution of tyre wear and tear to the total global amount of plastics ending up in our oceans is estimated to be 5–10%. In air, 3–7% of the particulate matter (PM2.5) is estimated to consist of tyre wear and tear, indicating that it may contribute to the global health burden of air pollution which has been projected by the World Health Organization (WHO) at 3 million deaths in 2012. The wear and tear also enters our food chain, but further research is needed to assess human health risks. It is concluded here that tyre wear and tear is a stealthy source of microplastics in our environment, which can only be addressed effectively if awareness increases, knowledge gaps on quantities and effects are being closed, and creative technical solutions are being sought. This requires a global effort from all stakeholders; consumers, regulators, industry and researchers alike. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microplastics: Hazards to Environmental and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Enhancing Resources at the Workplace with Health-Promoting Leadership
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1264; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101264
Received: 17 August 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 17 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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Abstract
Leaders engaging in health-promoting leadership can influence their employees’ health directly by showing health awareness or indirectly by changing working conditions. With health-promoting leadership, leaders are able to support a healthy working environment by providing resource-oriented working conditions for their employees to support
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Leaders engaging in health-promoting leadership can influence their employees’ health directly by showing health awareness or indirectly by changing working conditions. With health-promoting leadership, leaders are able to support a healthy working environment by providing resource-oriented working conditions for their employees to support their health. Changing working conditions in a health-supportive way can prevent possible negative consequences from critical working conditions (e.g., burnout risk). The present study examined the relationship between health-promoting leadership and the employees’ resources, stress and burnout. To analyze our proposed model, structural equation modelling was conducted in two samples. The resulting model from the first sample of 228 Austrian workers was cross-validated and could be verified with the second sample (N = 263 Austrian workers). The results supported a model in which health-promoting leadership has a strong direct effect on the employees’ resources and an indirect effect on stress and burnout, which was mediated by resources. The results indicate that health-promoting leadership describes the leaders’ capability and dedication creating the right working conditions for their employees by increasing the employees’ resources at the workplace. This in turn minimizes the risk of experiencing burnout. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Occupational Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle Petroleum Hydrocarbon Profiles of Water and Sediment of Algoa Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1263; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101263
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 9 October 2017 / Accepted: 10 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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Abstract
Petroleum hydrocarbon profiles of water and sediment samples of Algoa Bay in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa were assessed using standard analytical procedures. Water (from surface and bottom levels) and sediment samples were collected from five locations in the bay from
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Petroleum hydrocarbon profiles of water and sediment samples of Algoa Bay in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa were assessed using standard analytical procedures. Water (from surface and bottom levels) and sediment samples were collected from five locations in the bay from February to June 2016. Extraction of the petroleum hydrocarbons from the water and sediment samples collected was achieved using liquid-liquid and Soxhlet extraction techniques, respectively, followed by column clean up. Target compounds were analytically determined with gas chromatography–flame ionization detector (GC-FID) and quantified by integrating the areas of both the resolved and unresolved components. Physicochemical properties of the water samples were also determined on site using a SeaBird 19plusV2 CTD SBE 55 device. Estimated limit of detection, limit of quantitation and relative standard deviation for the 35 n-alkane standards ranged from 0.06 to 0.13 μg/L, 0.30 to 0.69 μg/L and 3.61 to 8.32%, respectively. Results showed that total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) varied from 45.07 to 307 μg/L in the water and 0.72 to 27.03 mg/kg in the sediments. The mean concentrations of TPH in both the water and sediment samples from Algoa Bay revealed a slight level of pollution. The diagnostic indices used showed that the hydrocarbons in the area were from both biogenic and anthropogenic sources. Hence, there is need for adequate regulation and control of all activities contributing to the levels of petroleum hydrocarbon in the marine environment for the safety of human, aquatic and wild lives in the area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Land Use Regression Modeling of Outdoor Noise Exposure in Informal Settlements in Western Cape, South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1262; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101262
Received: 8 August 2017 / Revised: 9 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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Abstract
In low- and middle-income countries, noise exposure and its negative health effects have been little explored. The present study aimed to assess the noise exposure situation in adults living in informal settings in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. We conducted continuous one-week
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In low- and middle-income countries, noise exposure and its negative health effects have been little explored. The present study aimed to assess the noise exposure situation in adults living in informal settings in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. We conducted continuous one-week outdoor noise measurements at 134 homes in four different areas. These data were used to develop a land use regression (LUR) model to predict A-weighted day-evening-night equivalent sound levels (Lden) from geographic information system (GIS) variables. Mean noise exposure during day (6:00–18:00) was 60.0 A-weighted decibels (dB(A)) (interquartile range 56.9–62.9 dB(A)), during night (22:00–6:00) 52.9 dB(A) (49.3–55.8 dB(A)) and average Lden was 63.0 dB(A) (60.1–66.5 dB(A)). Main predictors of the LUR model were related to road traffic and household density. Model performance was low (adjusted R2 = 0.130) suggesting that other influences than those represented in the geographic predictors are relevant for noise exposure. This is one of the few studies on the noise exposure situation in low- and middle-income countries. It demonstrates that noise exposure levels are high in these settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Experience of Japan in Achieving a Total Ban on Asbestos
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1261; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101261
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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Abstract
This paper aims to examine the process through which a total ban on asbestos was achieved in Japan. We reconstructed the process, analyzed the roles of involved parties/events, and drew lessons from the Japanese experience of achieving the ban. In Japan, a bill
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This paper aims to examine the process through which a total ban on asbestos was achieved in Japan. We reconstructed the process, analyzed the roles of involved parties/events, and drew lessons from the Japanese experience of achieving the ban. In Japan, a bill to phase out asbestos was proposed in 1992 but rejected without deliberation. Wide support for such a ban subsequently grew, however, largely due to the actions of trade unions and civil societies in establishing a coalition, raising awareness, organizing asbestos victims and their families, and propagating information on international developments. A governmental decision towards a ban was made in 2002 based on several national and international factors. A huge asbestos scandal in 2005 preponed the achievement of a total ban and led to the establishment of comprehensive measures to tackle asbestos issues. However, challenges remain for the elimination of asbestos-related diseases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Symptoms during Adolescents’ First Use of Cigarettes and E-Cigarettes: A Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1260; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101260
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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Abstract
Symptoms adolescents experience during their first time using a cigarette predict their current use, but little is known regarding the symptoms experienced during first e-cigarette use. We conducted a pilot study to understand the symptoms adolescents experience when they first tried cigarettes and
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Symptoms adolescents experience during their first time using a cigarette predict their current use, but little is known regarding the symptoms experienced during first e-cigarette use. We conducted a pilot study to understand the symptoms adolescents experience when they first tried cigarettes and e-cigarettes and the associations between these symptoms and current use. Participants were 41 adolescents in two U.S. cities who had tried cigarettes or e-cigarettes. We asked adolescents to recall the symptoms they experienced during their first cigarette or e-cigarette and categorized symptoms as negative (felt bad, coughing/chest pain, bad taste, upset stomach, dizzy/lightheaded) or positive (felt relaxed, rush/buzz). Adolescents reported fewer negative symptoms for first e-cigarette than first cigarette use (all p < 0.05). Current cigarette smoking was associated with endorsing fewer negative symptoms (OR = 0.49, 95% CI = [0.25, 0.95]) and more positive symptoms (OR = 7.11, 95% CI = [1.47, 34.33]) at first cigarette use. First e-cigarette use symptoms were not associated with current e-cigarette use. Adolescents reported fewer negative symptoms from first e-cigarette than from first cigarette, and e-cigarette symptoms did not influence use as they do for cigarettes. Additional research is needed to confirm these findings in longitudinal studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Cigarette Use and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Toward “Age-Friendly Slums”? Health Challenges of Older Slum Dwellers in Nairobi and the Applicability of the Age-Friendly City Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1259; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101259
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 13 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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Abstract
A majority of urban residents in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and other developing regions live in informal settlements, or slums. Much of the discourse on slum health centres on younger generations, while an intensifying agenda on healthy ageing as yet lacks a systematic focus
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A majority of urban residents in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and other developing regions live in informal settlements, or slums. Much of the discourse on slum health centres on younger generations, while an intensifying agenda on healthy ageing as yet lacks a systematic focus on slums. Similarly, the global age-friendly cities (AFC) movement does not, thus far, extend to slums. This paper examines the particular challenges that a slum-focused age-friendly initiative in SSA may need to address, and the relevance of present AFC indicators and domains for initiatives to advance the health and well-being of older slum dwellers. The analysis builds on the case of two slum communities in Nairobi, Kenya. It analyzes two bodies of relevant evidence from these settlements, namely on the health and social circumstances of older residents, and on the local application and measurement of AFC indicators. The findings point to a set of unsurprising, but also less obvious, core health and social adversities that an age-friendly initiative in such settlements would need to consider. The findings show, further, that the current AFC domains and indicators framework only partly capture these adversities, but that there is potential for adapting the framework to be meaningful for slum settings. The paper concludes by underscoring the need for, and opportunities inherent in, the pursuit of an “age-friendly slums” initiative going forward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ageing Well: The Role of Age-Friendly Environments)
Open AccessArticle In Search of Consistent Predictors of Children’s Physical Activity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1258; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101258
Received: 3 September 2017 / Revised: 10 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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Abstract
Physical activity is pivotal for children’s health and well-being, yet participation declines across teenage years. Efforts to increase physical activity need to be strengthened to combat this, however, evidence for the design and planning of physical activity promotion in children is lacking. The
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Physical activity is pivotal for children’s health and well-being, yet participation declines across teenage years. Efforts to increase physical activity need to be strengthened to combat this, however, evidence for the design and planning of physical activity promotion in children is lacking. The aim was to identify predictors of physical activity that were relatively consistent across three different measures of physical activity, in pre- and early adolescent South Australians. This is the first study to compare correlates of physical activity across three measures of physical activity in a single sample, in this age group. Children (n = 324) aged 9–13 years and their parents were surveyed on personal, interpersonal and environmental correlates of physical activity. Child physical activity was objectively measured using pedometers (7 days). Self-reported physical activity was determined from organised sport participation and the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents. Regression models were used to identify consistent predictors of three physical activity measures. Consistent predictors across multiple physical activity measures were: parent support for physical activity, having appropriate clothing for sport, enjoyment of physical activity and perceived availability of sporting clubs. These predictors identify potential avenues for directing intervention efforts to increase physical activity in early adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
Open AccessProtocol Socio-Ecological Intervention to Promote Active Commuting to Work: Protocol and Baseline Findings of a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial in Finland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1257; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101257
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 10 October 2017 / Accepted: 17 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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Abstract
Active commuting to work (ACW) is beneficial to traffic, environment and population health. More evidence is needed on effective ways to promote ACW. This paper describes the protocol and baseline findings of a cluster-randomized controlled study, which aims to promote ACW with multilevel
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Active commuting to work (ACW) is beneficial to traffic, environment and population health. More evidence is needed on effective ways to promote ACW. This paper describes the protocol and baseline findings of a cluster-randomized controlled study, which aims to promote ACW with multilevel strategies in two large workplace areas in Tampere, Finland. In Phase 1, the impacts of environmental strategies (trail improvements) were evaluated in 11 workplaces within Area 1. In Phase 2, five more workplaces were recruited from Area 2 to evaluate the impacts of social and behavioral strategies customized for each workplace. For this purpose, the workplaces in both areas were randomly assigned into experimental group (EXP, n = 6 + 2), which promoted ACW with social and behavioral strategies or into comparison group (COM, n = 5 + 3), which participated in the data collection only. The primary indicator in both phases is the change in employees’ ACW. Secondary indicators are e.g., changes in employees’ self-rated health, wellbeing at work, restrictions to and motivation for ACW, adverse effects due to ACW and the use and quality of the main walking and cycling trails. Also process, efficiency and environmental evaluation is included. The study is the first one in Finland to combine interdisciplinary collaboration between practitioners and researchers working in the fields of transportation, urban design, physical activity and sustainable development to promote ACW. The findings benefit all stakeholders interested in promoting ACW in urban context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Transportation and Health)
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Open AccessArticle Does Migration Limit the Effect of Health Insurance on Hypertension Management in China?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1256; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101256
Received: 25 August 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 29 September 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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Abstract
Background: In China, rapid urbanization has caused migration from rural to urban areas, and raised the prevalence of hypertension. However, public health insurance is not portable from one place to another, and migration may limit the effectiveness of this non-portable health insurance on
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Background: In China, rapid urbanization has caused migration from rural to urban areas, and raised the prevalence of hypertension. However, public health insurance is not portable from one place to another, and migration may limit the effectiveness of this non-portable health insurance on healthcare. Our study aims to investigate whether migration limits the effectiveness of health insurance on hypertension management in China. Methods: Data were obtained from the national baseline survey of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study in 2011, including 4926 hypertensive respondents with public health insurance. Outcome measures included use of primary care, hypertension awareness, medication use, blood pressure monitoring, physician advice, and blood pressure control. Multivariate logistic regressions were estimated to examine whether the effects of rural health insurance on hypertension management differed between those who migrated to urban areas and those who did not migrate and lived in rural areas. Results: Among hypertensive respondents, 60.7% were aware of their hypertensive status. Compared to rural residents, the non-portable feature of rural health insurance significantly reduced rural-to-urban migrants’ probabilities of using primary care by 7.8 percentage points, hypertension awareness by 8.8 percentage points, and receiving physician advice by 18.3 percentage points. Conclusions: In China, migration to urban areas limited the effectiveness of rural health insurance on hypertension management due to its non-portable nature. It is critical to improve the portability of rural health insurance, and to extend urban health insurance and primary care coverage to rural-to-urban migrants to achieve better chronic disease management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Services and Health Economics Research)
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