Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2015, 12(3), 2557-2573; doi:10.3390/ijerph120302557 (registering DOI) - published 26 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This study aimed to present data on Portuguese children (aged 9–11 years) complying with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) guidelines, and to identify the importance of correlates from multiple domains associated with meeting the guidelines. Physical activity (PA) was objectively assessed by accelerometry throughout seven days on 777 children. A count model using Poisson regression was used to identify the best set of correlates that predicts the variability in meeting the guidelines. Only 3.1% of children met the recommended daily 60 min of MVPA for all seven days of the week. Further, the Cochrane–Armitage chi-square test indicated a linear and negative trend (p < 0.001) from none to all seven days of children complying with the guidelines. The count model explained 22% of the variance in meeting MVPA guidelines daily. Being a girl, having a higher BMI, belonging to families with higher income, sleeping more and taking greater time walking from home to a sporting venue significantly reduced the probability of meeting daily recommended MVPA across the seven days. Furthermore, compared to girls, increasing sleep time in boys increased their chances of compliance with the MVPA recommendations. These results reinforce the relevance of considering different covariates’ roles on PA compliance when designing efficient intervention strategies to promote healthy and active lifestyles in children.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2015, 12(3), 2543-2556; doi:10.3390/ijerph120302543 (registering DOI) - published 26 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Salmonella contamination of eggs and egg shells has been identified as a public health concern worldwide. A recent shift in consumer preferences has impacted on the egg industry, with a push for cage-free egg production methods. There has also been an increased desire from consumers for raw and unprocessed foods, potentially increasing the risk of salmonellosis. In response to these changes, this review explores the current literature regarding Salmonella contamination of eggs during the production processing through to food handling protocols. The contamination of eggs with Salmonella during the production processis a complex issue, influenced by many variables including flock size, flock age, stress, feed, vaccination, and cleaning routines. Currently there is no consensus regarding the impact of caged, barn and free range egg production has on Salmonella contamination of eggs. The literature regarding the management and control strategies post-collection, during storage, transport and food handling is also reviewed. Pasteurisation and irradiation were identified as the only certain methods for controlling Salmonella and are essential for the protection of high risk groups, whereas control of temperature and pH were identified as potential control methods to minimise the risk for foods containing raw eggs; however, further research is required to provide more detailed control protocols and education programs to reduce the risk of salmonellosis from egg consumption.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2015, 12(3), 2532-2542; doi:10.3390/ijerph120302532 - published 25 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Time spent walking and relaxing in a forest environment (“forest bathing” or “forest therapy”) has well demonstrated anti-stress effects in healthy adults, but benefits for ill or at-risk populations have not been reported. The present study assessed the physiological and psychological effects of forest therapy (relaxation and stress management activity in the forest) on middle-aged males with high-normal blood pressure. Blood pressure and several physiological and psychological indices of stress were measured the day before and approximately 2 h following forest therapy. Both pre- and post-treatment measures were conducted at the same time of day to avoid circadian influences. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP), urinary adrenaline, and serum cortisol were all significantly lower than baseline following forest therapy (p < 0.05). Subjects reported feeling significantly more “relaxed” and “natural” according to the Semantic Differential (SD) method. Profile of Mood State (POMS) negative mood subscale scores for “tension-anxiety,” “confusion,” and “anger-hostility,” as well as the Total Mood Disturbance (TMD) score were significantly lower following forest therapy. These results highlight that forest is a promising treatment strategy to reduce blood pressure into the optimal range and possibly prevent progression to clinical hypertension in middle-aged males with high-normal blood pressure.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2015, 12(3), 2521-2531; doi:10.3390/ijerph120302521 - published 25 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The relaxation effects of gardening have attracted attention; however, very few studies have researched its physiological effects on humans. This study aimed to clarify the physiological and psychological effects on high school students of viewing real and artificial pansies. Forty high school students (male: 19, female: 21) at Chiba Prefectural Kashiwanoha Senior High School, Japan, participated in this experiment. The subjects were presented with a visual stimulation of fresh yellow pansies (Viola x wittrockiana “Nature Clear Lemon”) in a planter for 3 min. Artificial yellow pansies in a planter were used as the control. Heart rate variability was used as a physiological measurement and the modified semantic differential method was used for subjective evaluation. Compared with artificial pansies, visual stimulation with real flowers resulted in a significant decrease in the ratio of low- to high-frequency heart rate variability component, which reflects sympathetic nerve activity. In contrast, high frequency, which reflects parasympathetic nerve activity, showed no significant difference. With regard to the psychological indices, viewing real flowers resulted in “comfortable”, “relaxed”, and “natural” feelings. The findings indicate that visual stimulation with real pansies induced physiological and psychological relaxation effects in high school students.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2015, 12(3), 2501-2520; doi:10.3390/ijerph120302501 - published 25 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this case-control study the association between the approaches used to feed infants, together with known family and environmental factors, and the occurrence of atopic illness in toddlers between the ages of 4 months to 3 years in Hong Kong was examined. A total of 206 subjects were recruited from April to June of 2014. The results obtained by binary logistic regression indicated that atopy is associated with boys (OR 2.072, CI 1.089–3.941), the maternal use of antibiotics in utero or while breast feeding (OR 2.276, CI 1.151–4.504), the later commencement of mixed feeding (OR 2.497, CI 1.025–6.082), breast feeding exclusively for 3 months (OR 1.972, CI 1.009–3.857), and having a mother who was diagnosed with eczema (OR 4.510, CI 1.764–11.530). Although an exclusive reliance on breast feeding has been shown to be predictive of atopy among toddlers, the positive qualities of breast milk cannot be ignored. A further study of the contents and nutritional values of breast milk is warranted.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2015, 12(3), 2486-2500; doi:10.3390/ijerph120302486 - published 25 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Negativeperceptions such as fear or worry are known to be an important determinant of annoyance.Annoyance caused by noise and odour has been analysed in relation to worry about safety or health due to environmental hazards, using responses to a health survey. In the survey area high environmental impacts come from air and road traffic. The survey results show a correlation between worry due to the airport or passing aircraft and noise and odour annoyance from aircraft (correlation coefficient (c.c.) close to 0.6). For the relation between worry about a busy street and annoyance from road traffic the correlation is lower (c.c. 0.4–0.5). Worries about different situations, such as living below sea level, close to an airport, busy street or chemical industry, are highly correlated (c.c. 0.5–0.9), also for situations that are not obviously related. Personal factors can also lead to more worry: being female, above 35 years of age, having a high risk for anxiety/depression and being in bad health increase the odds for being worried. The results thus suggest that worry about safety or health is correlated to both personal and environmental factors.