News and Announcements

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 Pop Center doctoral student Aditi Krishna 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.

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 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.

Finlay speaks on expert panel at United Nations on population & sustainable development

finlay_headshotHarvard 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.”

Study finds sexual violence leads to adverse mental health outcomes among HIV-positive women in rural Uganda

TSAI-headshot_resizedHarvard Pop Center affiliated faculty member Alexander Tsai, MD, PhD, who is also a Harvard RWJF Health & Society Scholar alum, is lead author on the study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

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.”