The FDA’s announcement that it planned to update nutrition labels got a lot of press last week, with many popular media outlets reaching out to experts for comment. The Pop Center’s own Jason Block and Christina Roberto were quoted in a LiveScience article that discussed the proposed changes. Block is the Associate Director of the Obesity Prevention Program in the Department of Population Medicine at HSPH, and Roberto is a RWJF Health and Society Scholar who has published and spoken extensively on the power of food labeling.
A new study in Pediatrics, co-authored by faculty member Mark Schuster, examines the longitudinal associations of bullying with mental and physical health from elementary to high school. The study, titled “Peer Victimization in Fifth Grade and Health in Tenth Grade,” revealed that bullying was associated with worse mental and physical health, greater depression symptoms, and lower self-worth over time. These findings suggest that if clinicians recognize bullying when it first starts and intervene accordingly, they may be able to reverse the downward health trajectory experienced by youth who are repeated targets.
Egypt has an extremely high obesity rate–much higher than would be expected given the country’s level of economic development. How does this paradox affect the correlation between SES and obesity? Faculty members Ichiro Kawachi, SV Subramanian, and Allan Hill conducted a study which found that obesity is prevalent across the SES spectrum in Cairo, i.e. there are no marked correlations between obesity and SES measures such as education, household expenditures, household assets, subjective wealth, and father’s education. The paper, published in Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health, analyzes these findings and considers how they should inform health policy.
Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, PhD, and former RWJF scholar Jennifer Karas Montez co-authored a paper published in the American Journal of Public Health, titled “Trends in the Educational Gradient of Mortality Among US Adults Aged 45 to 84 Years: Bringing Regional Context Into the Explanation.”
Jason Block, M.D. Assistant Professor, Obesity Prevention Program, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School/Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and Pop Center faculty member, is quoted in this Guardian article titled “Latin America leads the fight against junk food with the US on the sidelines.”
In a new study published in Population Research and Policy Review, former Bell fellow Hiram Beltran-Sanchez and colleagues use the concept of avoidable/amenable mortality to estimate cause-of-death contributions to the difference in life expectancy between whites and blacks by gender in the United States between 1980 and 2007. Their findings show that a substantial portion of black-white disparities in mortality could be reduced given more equitable access to medical care and health interventions.
Andrew Papachristos, PhD, a scholar in the RWJF Health & Society Scholars Program at the Pop Center from 2010- 2012, had a article titled “Network Exposure and Homicide Victimization in an African American Community” published in The American Journal of Public Health.
Arijit Nandi, PhD, a scholar in the RWJF Health & Society Scholars Program at the Pop Center from 2008- 2010, had a article titled Socioeconomic inequalities in HIV/AIDS prevalence in sub-Saharan African countries: evidence from the Demographic Health Surveys published on February 18, 2014 in the International Journal for Equity in Health.
We’re pleased to welcome in fall 2014 Germana Henry Leyna, MD, PhD, as our next Mortimer Spiegelman Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Leyna is a lecturer in Epidemiology at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania. As a fellow, she will investigate the influence of migration on risk factors to non-communicable diseases.
We’re pleased to announce the names of the two incoming Bell Postdoctoral Fellows here at the Harvard Pop Center. We look forward to their arrival this fall:
- Phillip Hessel (London School of Economics) – Demography
- Molly Rosenberg (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill) – Epidemiology