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Overweight and obesity may increase risk of disease progression in men with prostate cancer, but there have been few studies of weight loss interventions in this patient group. Based on existing literature and patient preferences we designed a self-help diet and physical activity intervention with telephone-based dietitian support. Men treated for prostate cancer who were overweight or obese were randomised to intervention or wait-list mini-intervention groups. The intervention group had an initial group meeting, a supporting letter from their urological consultant, three telephone dietitian consultations at 4-week intervals, a pedometer and access to web-based diet and physical activity resources. At 12 weeks, men in both groups were given digital scales for providing follow-up weight measurements, and the wait-list group received a mini-intervention of the supporting letter, a pedometer and access to the web-based resources. Sixty-two men were randomised; fifty-four completed baseline and 12-week measurements, and fifty-one and twenty-seven provided measurements at 6 and 12 months, respectively. In a repeated measures model, mean (95 % CI) difference in weight change between groups (wait-list mini-intervention minus intervention) at 12 weeks was −2·13 (−3·44, −0·82) kg (P = 0·002). At 12 months the corresponding value was −2·43 (−4·50, −0·37) kg (P = 0·022). Mean (95 % CI) difference in global QoL score change between groups at 12 weeks was 12·3 (4·93, 19·7) (P = 0·002); at 12 months there were no significant differences between groups. Results suggest the potential of self-help diet and physical activity intervention with trained support for modest but sustained weight loss in this patient group.
Much actuarial work is underpinned by the use of economic models derived from mainstream academic theories of finance and economics which treat money as being a neutral medium of exchange. The sustainability of a financial system whose understanding is based on a limited view of the role of money has increasingly been subject to criticism. In order to identify needed research programmes to address such criticisms and improve these disciplines, we sought to understand the current state of knowledge in economics and finance concerning the link between monetary and financial factors and sustainability. We have approached this through a search for relevant literature published in the highest-rated academic journals in economics, finance and the social sciences for titles and abstracts containing both references to the financial system on the one hand, and sustainability and environmental factors on the other. The systematic search of a universe of 125 journals and 355,000 articles yielded the finding that surprisingly few research papers jointly address these concepts. Nevertheless, we find that current research shares a broad consensus that the implications of the growth-oriented economic model results in an increasingly interconnected and fragile financial system whose participants are not incentivised to fully recognise the natural environment and resource constraints. We further observe that the prescriptions offered are relatively limited and small-scale in their outlook and that there is a vital need for further research, particularly for actuaries who are required to take a longer-term outlook. The Resource and Environment Board has supported this work with two key objectives: first, to identify research that may have direct application to actuarial work and, second, to identify gaps in academic research that would help drive the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ own research agenda. With this in mind there are three further areas of potential actuarial research. These are the policy aim of pursuing growth without limit within a finite ecosystem; discount factors as the primary means of capital allocation and investment decisions; and the use of gross domestic product as the key metric of economic activity and success. We also conclude that further academic research is urgently needed to understand the sustainability of the banking and monetary system.
An 8-cm optical telescope is constructed for use at the south pole. It is designed to make photoelectric observations of selected stars continuously through an austral winter. The automated operation is controlled by a computer. The aim is to study the variability of the star γ2 Velorum as well as the condition of the polar sky and the performance of the instrument.