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Test the efficacy and perceived effectiveness of nutrition labels on children’s menus from a full-service chain restaurant in an online study.
Using a between-groups experiment, parents were randomised to view children’s menus displaying one of five children’s nutrition labelling conditions: (i) No Nutrition Information (control); (ii) Calories Only; (iii) Calories + Contextual Statement (CS); (iv) Calories, Sodium + CS; or (v) Calories and Sodium in Traffic Lights + CS. Parents hypothetically ordered up to one entrée, side, beverage and dessert for their child, then rated and ranked all five labelling conditions on the level of perceived effectiveness.
998 parents with a 3–12 year old child.
Parents exposed to menus displaying ‘Calories, Sodium + CS’ selected significantly fewer calories ‘overall’ (entrées + side + dessert + beverage) compared to parents exposed to the control condition (−53·1 calories, P < 0·05). Parents selected ‘entrees’ with significantly fewer calories and lower sodium when exposed to menus with ‘Calories + CS’ (−24·3 calories, P < 0·05); ‘Calories, Sodium + CS’ (−25·4 calories, −56·1 mg sodium, P < 0·05 for both); and ‘Calories and Sodium in Traffic Lights + CS’ (−29·1 calories, −58·6 mg sodium, P < 0·05 for both). Parents exposed to menus with ‘Calories, Sodium + CS’ and ‘Calories and Sodium in Traffic Lights + CS’ were more likely to notice and understand nutrition information compared to other nuntrition labelling conditions. Parents perceived the menu with ‘Calories and Sodium in Traffic Lights + CS’ as most effective (P < 0·05).
Menus disclosing calories, sodium and a contextual statement increased the proportion of parents who noticed and understood nutrition information, and resulted in parents selecting lower calorie and sodium entrées for their children in the hypothetical purchase task.
TwinsUK is the largest cohort of community-dwelling adult twins in the UK. The registry comprises over 14,000 volunteer twins (14,838 including mixed, single and triplets); it is predominantly female (82%) and middle-aged (mean age 59). In addition, over 1800 parents and siblings of twins are registered volunteers. During the last 27 years, TwinsUK has collected numerous questionnaire responses, physical/cognitive measures and biological measures on over 8500 subjects. Data were collected alongside four comprehensive phenotyping clinical visits to the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London. Such collection methods have resulted in very detailed longitudinal clinical, biochemical, behavioral, dietary and socioeconomic cohort characterization; it provides a multidisciplinary platform for the study of complex disease during the adult life course, including the process of healthy aging. The major strength of TwinsUK is the availability of several ‘omic’ technologies for a range of sample types from participants, which includes genomewide scans of single-nucleotide variants, next-generation sequencing, metabolomic profiles, microbiomics, exome sequencing, epigenetic markers, gene expression arrays, RNA sequencing and telomere length measures. TwinsUK facilitates and actively encourages sharing the ‘TwinsUK’ resource with the scientific community — interested researchers may request data via the TwinsUK website (http://twinsuk.ac.uk/resources-for-researchers/access-our-data/) for their own use or future collaboration with the study team. In addition, further cohort data collection is planned via the Wellcome Open Research gateway (https://wellcomeopenresearch.org/gateways). The current article presents an up-to-date report on the application of technological advances, new study procedures in the cohort and future direction of TwinsUK.
Household surveys are one of the most commonly used tools for generating insight into rural communities. Despite their prevalence, few studies comprehensively evaluate the quality of data derived from farm household surveys. We critically evaluated a series of standard reported values and indicators that are captured in multiple farm household surveys, and then quantified their credibility, consistency and, thus, their reliability. Surprisingly, even variables which might be considered ‘easy to estimate’ had instances of non-credible observations. In addition, measurements of maize yields and land owned were found to be less reliable than other stationary variables. This lack of reliability has implications for monitoring food security status, poverty status and the land productivity of households. Despite this rather bleak picture, our analysis also shows that if the same farm households are followed over time, the sample sizes needed to detect substantial changes are in the order of hundreds of surveys, and not in the thousands. Our research highlights the value of targeted and systematised household surveys and the importance of ongoing efforts to improve data quality. Improvements must be based on the foundations of robust survey design, transparency of experimental design and effective training. The quality and usability of such data can be further enhanced by improving coordination between agencies, incorporating mixed modes of data collection and continuing systematic validation programmes.
The depth at which pitfall traps were sunk into the ground and the resulting catches of epigaeic Carabidae (Coleoptera) and Staphylinidae (Coleoptera) assemblages in subhygric to hydric ecosites with very deep organic soil layers was investigated in the upper foothills ecoregion of Alberta, Canada. Traps were installed at seven sites, with six surface traps (the pitfall trap lip <5 cm below soil surface) and six deep traps (the pitfall trap lip >20 cm below soil surface) at each site. A total of 5289 beetles representing 75 taxa were collected. There were no significant effects of trap depth on catch. Rarefaction estimates of species diversity were higher in surface pitfall traps for both taxa. The similarity of pooled catches between deep and surface traps was on average 75%, suggesting that both trap types were collecting similar faunas. We found no advantage to using deep pitfall traps in addition to surface traps to sample the epigaeic fauna of wet forest stands and peatlands.
Twin researchers face the challenge of accurately determining the zygosity of twins for research. As part of the annual questionnaire between 1999 and 2006, 8,307 twins from the TwinsUK registry were asked to complete five questions (independently from their co-twin) to ascertain their self-perceived zygosity during childhood on up to five separate occasions. This questionnaire is known as the ‘peas in the pod’ questionnaire (PPQ), but there is little evidence of its validation. Answers were scored and classified as monozygotic (MZ), dizygotic (DZ), or unknown zygosity (UZ) and were compared with 4,484 twins with genotyping data who had not been selected for zygosity. Of these, 3,859 individuals (46.5% of those who had a zygosity from PPQ) had zygosity classified by both the PPQ and genotyping. Of the 708 individual twins whose answers meant that they were consistently classed as MZ in the PPQ, 683 (96.5%) were MZ within the genotype data. Of the 945 individual twins consistently classed as DZ within questionnaire, 936 (99.0%) were DZ in the genotype data. Where both twins scored MZ consistently across multiple questionnaires, 99.6% were MZ on genotyping, 99.7% were DZ on genotyping if both twins consistently scored DZ. However, for the initial questionnaire, 88.6% of those scoring as MZ were genotypically MZ and 98.7% DZ. For twin pairs where both scored UZ, 94.7% were DZ. Using the PPQ on a single occasion provided a definitive classification of whether the twin was MZ or DZ with an overall accuracy of 86.9%, increasing to 97.9% when there was a consistent classification of zygosity across multiple questionnaires. This study has shown that the PPQ questionnaire is an excellent proxy indicator of zygosity in the absence of genotyping information.
To examine the potential links between activity spaces, the food retail environment and food shopping behaviours for the population of young, urban adults.
Participants took part in the Canada Food Study, which collected information on demographics, food behaviour, diet and health, as well as an additional smartphone study that included a seven-day period of logging GPS (global positioning system) location and food purchases. Using a time-weighted, continuous representation of participant activity spaces generated from GPS trajectory data, the locations of food purchases and a geocoded food retail data set, negative binomial regression models were used to explore what types of food retailers participants were exposed to and where food purchases were made.
Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and Halifax, Canada.
Young adults aged 16–30 years (n 496). These participants were a subset of the larger Canada Food Study.
Demographics, household food shopper status and city of residence were significantly associated with different levels of exposure to various types of food retailers. Food shopping behaviours were also statistically significantly associated with demographics, the activity space-based food environment, self-reported health and city of residence.
The study confirms that food behaviours are related to activity space-based food environment measures, which provide a more comprehensive accounting of food retail exposure than home-based measures. In addition, exposure to food retail and food purchasing behaviours of an understudied population are described.
To characterise and identify nationwide trends in suicide-related emergency department (ED) visits in the USA from 2006 to 2013.
We used data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) from 2006 to 2013. E-codes were used to identify ED visits related to suicide attempts and self-inflicted injury. Visits were characterised by factors such as age, sex, US census region, calendar month, as well as injury severity and mechanism. Injury severity and mechanism were compared between age groups and sex by chi-square tests and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests. Population-based rates were computed using US Census data.
Between 2006 and 2013, a total of 3 567 084 suicide attempt-related ED visits were reported. The total number of visits was stable between 2006 and 2013, with a population-based rate ranging from 163.1 to 173.8 per 100 000 annually. The frequency of these visits peaks during ages 15–19 and plateaus during ages 35–45, with a mean age at presentation of 33.2 years. More visits were by females (57.4%) than by males (42.6%); however, the age patterns for males and females were similar. Visits peaked in late spring (8.9% of all visits occurred in May), with a smaller peak in the fall. The most common mechanism of injury was poisoning (66.5%), followed by cutting and piercing (22.1%). Males were 1.6 times more likely than females to use violent methods to attempt suicide (OR = 1.64; 95% CI = 1.60–1.68; p < 0.001). The vast majority of patients (82.7%) had a concurrent mental disorder. Mood disorders were the most common (42.1%), followed by substance-related disorders (12.1%), alcohol-related disorders (8.9%) and anxiety disorders (6.4%).
The annual incidence of ED visits for attempted suicide and self-inflicted injury in the NEDS is comparable with figures previously reported from other national databases. We highlighted the value of the NEDS in allowing us to look in depth at age, sex, seasonal and mechanism patterns. Furthermore, using this large national database, we confirmed results from previous smaller studies, including a higher incidence of suicide attempts among women and individuals aged 15–19 years, a large seasonal peak in suicide attempts in the spring, a predominance of poisoning as the mechanism of injury for suicide attempts and a greater use of violent mechanisms in men, suggesting possible avenues for further research into strategies for prevention.
Enteric methane (CH4) production is a side-effect of herbivore digestion, but it is unknown whether CH4 itself influences digestive physiology. We investigated the effect of adding CH4 to, or reducing it in, the reticulorumen (RR) in a 4×4 Latin square experiment with rumen-fistulated, non-lactating cows, with four treatments: (i) control, (ii) insufflation of CH4 (iCH4), (iii) N via rumen fistula, (iv) reduction of CH4 via administration of bromochloromethane (BCM). DM intake (DMI), apparent total tract digestibility, digesta mean retention times (MRT), rumen motility and chewing activity, spot breath CH4 emission (CH4exhal, litre/kg DMI) as well as CH4 dissolved in rumen fluid (CH4RRf, µg/ml) were measured. Data were analysed using mixed models, including treatment (or, alternatively, CH4exhal or CH4RRf) and DMI relative to body mass0·85 (rDMI) as covariates. rDMI was the lowest on the BCM treatment. CH4exhal was highest for iCH4 and lowest for BCM treatments, whereas only BCM affected (reduced) CH4RRf. After adjusting for rDMI, CH4RRf had a negative association with MRT in the gastrointestinal tract but not in the RR, and negative associations with fibre digestibility and measures of rumination activity. Adjusting for rDMI, CH4exhal had additionally a negative association with particle MRT in the RR and a positive association with rumen motility. Thus, higher rumen levels of CH4 (CH4exhal or CH4RRf) were associated with shorter MRT and increased motility. These findings are tentatively interpreted as a feedback mechanism in the ruminant digestive tract that aims at mitigating CH4 losses by shortening MRT at higher CH4.
Background: Advances in surgical leads have been thought to potentially enable improved low-back pain relief using SCS. A recently introduced 32-contact surgical lead, which couples multiple independent current control and anatomically-based neural targeting stimulation algorithms, allows for patient-specific programming optimization. We present a real world study of this surgical lead. Methods: A multi-center, consecutive, observational study of a new 32-contact surgical lead was carried out, using the Precision Spectra SCS System (Boston Scientific) in 100 subjects out to 12 months post-implant. We examined procedural information, programming parameters, and clinical outcomes including pain reduction (NRS), activities of daily living, and change in pain medications. Results: Surgical lead placement distribution was between T7 and L2, with most at top of T9 (26%). A mean reduction of 5.1 points (SD 2.15, p<0.001) from 7.8 (baseline) to 2.6 in overall pain was observed. A subset of subjects reporting low-back pain only exhibited a mean decrease of 6.0 points (SD 2.12, p<0.001) from 8.3 (baseline) to 2.2. Of these, 83.1% of subjects showed ≥50% back pain reduction. Increases in activities of daily living and reduction in pain medication usage were also observed in majority of subjects. Conclusions: Subjects implanted with a 32-contact surgical lead using a neural targeting algorithm demonstrated significant low-back pain reduction.
Background: The clinical identification of hippocampal sclerosis (HS) is important in predicting surgical outcomes in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). In cases where gross hippocampal sclerosis is not identifiable clinically, a more detailed analysis of hippocampal subfields using ultra-high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may reveal areas of abnormality, which was the focus of our study. Methods: Patients (N=13) with drug-resistant TLE (9 no-HS, 4 HS) and 20 age-matched healthy controls were scanned and compared using a 7T MRI protocol. Using a manual segmentation scheme to delineate hippocampal subfields, subfield-specific volume changes were studied between the two groups. In addition, radiological patient assessment at 7T was correlated with measured subfield changes. Results: Volumetry of the hippocampus at 7T in HS patients revealed significant ipsilateral subfield losses in CA1 and CA4DG. Volumetry also uncovered subfield volume losses in 33% of no-HS patients, which had not been detected conventionally. Furthermore, 89% of no-HS patients showed abnormality (internal architecture or size) at 7T, identified by radiologists blinded to the patient’s initial classification. Conclusions: These preliminary findings indicate that hippocampal subfield volumetry assessed at 7T may be superior to conventional visual inspection by a neuroradiologist in the identification of hippocampal pathologies in TLE.
Little is known about the extent to which aging trajectories of different body systems share common sources of variance. We here present a large twin study investigating the trajectories of change in five systems: cardiovascular, respiratory, skeletal, morphometric, and metabolic. Longitudinal clinical data were collected on 3,508 female twins in the TwinsUK registry (complete pairs:740 monozygotic (MZ), 986 dizygotic (DZ), mean age at entry 48.9 ± 10.4, range 18–75 years; mean follow-up 10.2 ± 2.8 years, range 4–17.8 years). Panel data on multiple age-related variables were used to estimate biological ages for each individual at each time point, in linear mixed effects models. A weighted average approach was used to combine variables within predefined body system groups. Aging trajectories for each system in each individual were then constructed using linear modeling. Multivariate structural equation modeling of these aging trajectories showed low genetic effects (heritability), ranging from 2% in metabolic aging to 22% in cardiovascular aging. However, we found a significant effect of shared environmental factors on the variations in aging trajectories in cardiovascular (54%), skeletal (34%), morphometric (53%), and metabolic systems (53%). The remainder was due to environmental factors unique to each individual plus error. Multivariate Cholesky decomposition showed that among aging trajectories for various body systems there were significant and substantial correlations between the unique environmental latent factors as well as shared environmental factors. However, there was no evidence for a single common factor for aging. This study, the first of its kind in aging, suggests that diverse organ systems share non-genetic sources of variance for aging trajectories. Confirmatory studies are needed using population-based twin cohorts and alternative methods of handling missing data.
Objectives: We describe a new evidence-based method for screening and evaluating emerging medical technologies. Washington State agencies, under legislative direction, have granted authority to its agency Medical Directors and policy leaders to make coverage decisions on medical technologies using a “dossier” process. The dossier process is employed when technology advocates or manufacturers request Washington State healthcare purchasers to pay for new and emerging technologies. This offers the advocate an opportunity to submit scientific evidence and information classically associated with a more formal health technology assessment.
Methods: The submitted information is independently reviewed and summarized for Washington State's public healthcare purchasers allowing a more standardized coverage decision for all public purchasers in Washington State.
Results: This process has allowed Washington State to make twelve evidence-based coverage decisions at a fraction of the cost of classic technology assessment. To date, of twelve reviews over 6 years, one health technology was approved for coverage, ten were not covered and one did not require a coverage decision.
Conclusions: This evidence-based dossier process has yielded high-value coverage decisions of new and emerging medical technologies for public healthcare purchasers in Washington State.
Sudden release of accreted ice in fuel systems could pose a serious challenge in aircraft operation. The resultant snowshower may reach the filter and fuel-oil heat exchanger, causing a restriction in fuel flow to the engine. It is fundamental to have an appreciation of the character and the interface shear strength of the accreted ice in aircraft fuel systems. This helps to recognise factors for the sudden release of the accreted ice and the intensity of the consequential snowshower. An experimental study was carried out to quantify the character and the interface shear strength of accreted ice on subcooled surfaces submerged in jet fuel. Ice was accreted on naked aluminium, painted aluminium and carbon fibre composite surfaces at various subcooled temperatures. The accreted ice was akin to fresh snow and exhibited soft and fluffy attributes. The character may be expressed quantitatively in terms of the porosity and was found to be c. 0·95. The ice weakly adhered to the substrate surfaces, and the interface shear strength was found to be c. 0·36Pa and c. 2·19Pa at the top surface and at the vertical surface of a specimen block, respectively. It was not possible to detect any variation in the porosity and the interface shear strength for different types of surface finishes and differences in water affnity in fuels due to the crude approach in the estimation of these parameters.
Background: Whole-slide scanning of tissue sections spatially informed by imaging studies offers the opportunity to reconstruct specimens for co-registration to 3D imaging data. Digital image analysis algorithms can be designed to analyze and reconstruct such specimens via electronic “pipelines”. Methods: A goal of the Canadian Atherosclerosis Imaging Network (CAIN) is to improve the assessment of carotid atheromatous disease through studies that inform clinical imaging with gold-standard data (plaque pathology). To achieve this, sectioned atheromas are manually annotated and analyzed by electronic algorithm for pathological features of interest. Resulting images are then reassembled in 3D for registration to ultrasound, CT, PET-CT and MRI studies. Results: Carotid endarterectomy specimens were sub-serially sectioned, stained, digitized and annotated manually and by electronic algorithms. Resulting 2D images were successfully rendered, reassembled and analyzed in 3D using ex-vivo micro-CT as a spatial reference. Furthermore, histology quantification using colour deconvolution was found to be preferred over hue-saturation-intensity methods 94.7-100% of the time in a blinded multiple rater study. Conclusion: Automated “pipelines” greatly facilitate 3D reconstruction in comparison to traditional slice-by-slice methods. Transformations spatially guided by pre-existing imaging data is not only faster, but has superior objectivity and fidelity. With embedded annotations, 3D pathology maps become a rich, micron-level, permanent digital pathological database for correlative studies.
Background: It has been hypothesized that [18F]-sodium fluoride (NaF) uptake imaged with positron emission tomography (PET) binds to hydroxyapatite molecules expressed in regions with active calcification. Therefore, we aimed to validate NaF as a marker of hydroxyapatite expression in high-risk carotid plaque. Methods: Eleven patients (69 ± 5 years, 3 female) scheduled for carotid endarterectomy were prospectively recruited for NaF PET/CT. One patient received a second contralateral endarterectomy; two patients were excluded (intolerance to contrast media and PET/CT misalignment). The bifurcation of the common carotid was used as the reference point; NaF uptake (tissue to blood ratio - TBR) was measured at every PET slice extending 2 cm above and below the bifurcation. Excised plaque was immunostained with Goldner’s Trichrome and whole-slide digitized images were used to quantify hydroxyapatite expression. Pathology was co-registered with PET. Results: NaF uptake was related to the extent of hydroxyapatite expression (r=0.45, p<0.001). Upon classifying bilateral plaque for symptomatology, symptomatic plaque was associated with cerebrovascular events (3.75±1.1 TBR, n=9) and had greater NaF uptake than clinically silent asymptomatic plaque (2.79±0.6 TBR, n=11) (p=0.04). Conclusion: NaF uptake is related to hydroxyapatite expression and is increased in plaque associated with cerebrovascular events. NaF may serve as a novel biomarker of active calcification and plaque vulnerability.