The Winter 2015 edition of the Bow Street Bulletin is available on our website now. The study by Pop Center Research Associate Clemens Noelke and Pop Center faculty member Jason Beckfield on recession, job loss and health in older US adults is the cover story. Plus, learn more about the recent achievements of Pop Center faculty, fellows, affiliates and staff, as well as about upcoming seminars and events.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the health and health care of all Americans, has announced the appointment of Julio Frenk, MD, MPH, PhD to their board of trustees. Frenk, formerly health minister of Mexico, has been dean of the faculty of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health since 2009 and is a leading international figure in the field of public health.
Harvard Bell Fellow Fahad Razak, MD, Pop Center faculty member S V Subramanian (Subu), PhD, and Pop Center doctoral student are authors of 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.
Harvard 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.
Harvard 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.
A study by a team of researchers from the Work, Family & Health Network, including Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman and faculty member Orfeu Buxton, has found that an intervention designed to reduce conflict between work and family 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, The Boston Globe, and Inc. Learn more in this EurekAlert! release.
Harvard Pop Center’s Director of the Research Core Jocelyn Finlay, PhD, presented as a member of an expert panel on “Population, sustainable development, and the post-2015 development agenda” at the United Nations on January 22. The panel was assembled to prepare for the upcoming 48th session of the Commission on Population and Development in 2015, when the theme will be “Realizing the future we want: integrating population issues into sustainable development, including in the post-2015 development agenda.”