Category Archives: Recently Published

Are socioeconomic & demographic factors driving inequalities in BMI at the population level? Maybe not.

Fahad-Razak_310_x_440Harvard Bell Fellow Fahad Razak, MD, Pop Center faculty member S V Subramanian (Subu), PhD, and colleagues have published a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that explores population-level changes in the BMI distribution over time, looking carefully at inequalities in weight gain between groups vs. within groups (interindividual). The findings suggest that future research should focus on understanding factors driving inequalities in weight gain between individuals.

Does awareness of disability assistance influence how we evaluate health symptoms of others?

O'Brien-RourkeHarvard RWJF Health & Society Scholar Rourke O’Brien, PhD, has authored a Short Report in Social Science & Medicine based on evidence from a nationally representative survey. The researcher found that respondents in the experimental group (primed to consider the existence of disability assistance) were less likely to rate the symptoms of a hypothetical individual as severe relative to the control group. In addition, these respondents were more likely to blame the individual for his/her health condition.

Obesity experts weigh in on influences & nuances of framing on obesity-prevention discourse

selena_310_x_440Harvard RWJF HSS Selena Ortiz, PhD, is lead author on a study published in the American Journal of Public Health that examines the influence of framing on the obesity prevention discourse. She and her colleagues conducted interviews with experts to learn more about two dominant frames: personal responsibility and environmental, looking closely at the environmental subframe of taste-engineering – food industry strategies designed to influence the overconsumption of certain foods and beverages.

Reducing Work-Family Conflict in Workplace Helps Improve Sleep

Berkman_Lisa_croppedA study by a team of researchers from the Work, Family & Health Network, including Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, has found that an intervention designed to reduce conflict between work and familial responsibilities has also been found to be effective at improving sleep. The study is published in the inaugural issue of Sleep Health, the journal of the National Sleep Foundation, and has been featured in articles in Medical Daily, and Inc. Learn more in this EurekAlert! release.

Addressing challenge of selecting best health care intervention when benefits & value are often in gray zone

chandraAmitabh Chandra, PhD, Harvard Pop Center affiliated faculty member, is co-author of a Perspective published in the New England Journal of Medicine that addresses the challenge of determining the best health care intervention when benefits and value are often in the “gray-zone.”

To help kids get more sleep & feel better rested, researchers suggest limiting access to screens (small & big) in bedrooms

gortmakerSteven Gortmaker, PhD, and Elsie M. Taveras, MD, MPH, have published a study in Pediatrics that found that kids who slept in rooms that had devices with electronic screens (smartphones, TV, etc.)  slept for shorter durations and were more likely to report that they received insufficient rest.

To better understand impact of context on health, exploring multiple contexts simultaneously might help

Tracy RichmondIn a study published in Health & Place, co-authors Harvard Pop Center affiliated faculty members Tracy Richmond, MD, and SV Subramanian (Subu), PhD, examined the effect of neighborhood and schools  on smoking behavior in adolescents. The contexts were examined one at a time, as well as simultaneously, and the results suggest that cross-classified multilevel modeling (CCMM) — evaluating multiple contexts simultaneously– may lead to more accurate results.

Gita Sen on sexual and reproductive health and rights in context of health care reform

sen.headshotHarvard Pop Center affiliated faculty member Gita Sen, PhD, is lead author on a paper published in Global Public Health that explores sexual and reproductive health and rights in light of health systems reform and universal health coverage/care.