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To examine participants’ experiences with nutrition education classes that were implemented with and designed to complement a cost-offset community-supported agriculture (CSA) programme.
Qualitative analysis of data from twenty-eight focus groups with ninety-six participants enrolled in Farm Fresh Foods for Healthy Kids (F3HK). Transcribed data were coded and analysed by a priori and emergent themes.
Rural and micropolitan communities in New York, North Carolina, Vermont and Washington (USA).
Ninety-six F3HK participants.
Participants found recipes and class activities helpful and reported improvements in nutrition knowledge, food preservation skills and home cooking behaviours for themselves and their children; they also reported that classes promoted a sense of community. Some educators better incorporated CSA produce into lessons, which participants reported as beneficial. Other obligations and class logistics were barriers to attendance; participants recommended that lessons be offered multiple times weekly at different times of day. Other suggestions included lengthening class duration to encourage social engagement; emphasising recipes to incorporate that week’s CSA produce and pantry staples and offering additional strategies to incorporate children in classes.
Complementing a cost-offset CSA with nutrition education may enhance programme benefits to low-income families by improving nutrition knowledge and cooking behaviours. However, future interventions will benefit from ongoing coordination between educators and local growing trajectories to maximise timely coverage of unfamiliar produce in lessons; synchronous scheduling of CSA pick-up and classes for participant convenience and creative strategies to engage children and/or provide childcare.
Glyphosate is an important component of herbicide programs in orchard crops in California. It can be applied alone or in tank-mix combinations under the crop rows or to the entire field and often is used multiple times each year. There has been speculation about the potential impacts of repeated use of glyphosate in perennial crop systems, because of uptake from shallow root systems or indirectly because of effects on nutrient availability in soil. To address these concerns, research was conducted from 2013 to 2020 on key orchard crops to evaluate tree response to glyphosate regimens. Almond, cherry, and prune were evaluated in separate experiments. In each crop, the experimental design was a factorial arrangement of two soil types, four glyphosate rates (0, 1.1, 2.2, and 4.4 kg ae ha−1, applied three times annually), and two post-glyphosate application irrigation treatments. In the first 2 yr of the study, there was no clear impact of the glyphosate regimens on shikimate accumulation or leaf chlorophyll content, which suggested no direct effect on the crop. In the seventh year of the study, after six consecutive years of glyphosate application to the orchard floors, there were no negative impacts of glyphosate application on leaf nutrient concentration or on cumulative trunk growth in any of the three orchard crops. Lack of a negative growth impact even at the highest treatment rate, which included 18 applications of glyphosate totaling nearly 80 kg ae ha−1 glyphosate over the course of the experiment suggest there is not likely a significant risk to tree health of judicious use of the herbicide in these production systems. Given the economic importance of orchard crops in California, and grower and industry concerns about pesticides generally and specifically about glyphosate, these findings are timely contributions to weed management concerns in perennial specialty crops.
Life course research embraces the complexity of health and disease development, tackling the extensive interactions between genetics and environment. This interdisciplinary blueprint, or theoretical framework, offers a structure for research ideas and specifies relationships between related factors. Traditionally, methodological approaches attempt to reduce the complexity of these dynamic interactions and decompose health into component parts, ignoring the complex reciprocal interaction of factors that shape health over time. New methods that match the epistemological foundation of the life course framework are needed to fully explore adaptive, multilevel, and reciprocal interactions between individuals and their environment. The focus of this article is to (1) delineate the differences between lifespan and life course research, (2) articulate the importance of complex systems science as a methodological framework in the life course research toolbox to guide our research questions, (3) raise key questions that can be asked within the clinical and translational science domain utilizing this framework, and (4) provide recommendations for life course research implementation, charting the way forward. Recent advances in computational analytics, computer science, and data collection could be used to approximate, measure, and analyze the intertwining and dynamic nature of genetic and environmental factors involved in health development.
The 2020 volume of History in Africa is the eleventh produced by the current editorial team. It will also be the last, as we are handing over to a brand-new team, consisting of esteemed colleagues Lorelle Semley, Sandra Barnes, Bayo Holsey, and Egodi Uchendu.
There is strong public belief that polyunsaturated fats protect against and ameliorate depression and anxiety.
To assess effects of increasing omega-3, omega-6 or total polyunsaturated fat on prevention and treatment of depression and anxiety symptoms.
We searched widely (Central, Medline and EMBASE to April 2017, trial registers to September 2016, ongoing trials updated to August 2019), including trials of adults with or without depression or anxiety, randomised to increased omega-3, omega-6 or total polyunsaturated fat for ≥24 weeks, excluding multifactorial interventions. Inclusion, data extraction and risk of bias were assessed independently in duplicate, and authors contacted for further data. We used random-effects meta-analysis, sensitivity analyses, subgrouping and Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) assessment.
We included 31 trials assessing effects of long-chain omega-3 (n = 41 470), one of alpha-linolenic acid (n = 4837), one of total polyunsaturated fat (n = 4997) and none of omega-6. Meta-analysis suggested that increasing long-chain omega-3 probably has little or no effect on risk of depression symptoms (risk ratio 1.01, 95% CI 0.92–1.10, I2 = 0%, median dose 0.95 g/d, duration 12 months) or anxiety symptoms (standardised mean difference 0.15, 95% CI 0.05–0.26, I2 = 0%, median dose 1.1 g/d, duration 6 months; both moderate-quality evidence). Evidence of effects on depression severity and remission in existing depression were unclear (very-low-quality evidence). Results did not differ by risk of bias, omega-3 dose, duration or nutrients replaced. Increasing alpha-linolenic acid by 2 g/d may increase risk of depression symptoms very slightly over 40 months (number needed to harm, 1000).
Long-chain omega-3 supplementation probably has little or no effect in preventing depression or anxiety symptoms.
Declaration of interest
L.H. and A.A. were funded to attend the World Health Organization Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group (NUGAG) Subgroup on Diet and Health meetings and present review results. The authors report no other conflicts of interest.
While child poverty is a significant risk factor for poor mental health, the developmental pathways involved with these associations are poorly understood. To advance knowledge about these important linkages, the present study examined the developmental sequelae of childhood exposure to poverty in a multiyear longitudinal study. Here, we focused on exposure to poverty, neurobiological circuitry connected to emotion dysregulation, later exposure to stressful life events, and symptoms of psychopathology. We grounded our work in a biopsychosocial perspective, with a specific interest in “stress sensitization” and emotion dysregulation. Motivated by past work, we first tested whether exposure to poverty was related to changes in the resting-state coupling between two brain structures centrally involved with emotion processing and regulation (the amygdala and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex; vmPFC). As predicted, we found lower household income at age 10 was related to lower resting-state coupling between these areas at age 15. We then tested if variations in amygdala–vmPFC connectivity interacted with more contemporaneous stressors to predict challenges with mental health at age 16. In line with past reports showing risk for poor mental health is greatest in those exposed to early and then later, more contemporaneous stress, we predicted and found that lower vmPFC–amygdala coupling in the context of greater contemporaneous stress was related to higher levels of internalizing and externalizing symptoms. We believe these important interactions between neurobiology and life history are an additional vantage point for understanding risk and resiliency, and suggest avenues for prediction of psychopathology related to early life challenge.
Translocations are an important tool for the conservation of biodiversity, but although ecological feasibility studies are frequently conducted prior to implementation, social feasibility studies that consider how local communities perceive such projects are less common. The translocation of blue sheep Pseudois nayaur to Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal, has been proposed, to reduce livestock depredation by snow leopards Panthera uncia by providing an alternative prey base in addition to the small population of Himalayan thar Hemitragus jemlahicus. This study used systematic sampling, a quantitative questionnaire and qualitative interviews within the Park to provide data on the social viability of the proposed translocation. Quantitative analysis revealed moderate levels of support but qualitative analysis suggested that there are significant concerns about the proposal. In addition, multiple regression analysis found that women and livestock owners were significantly less supportive, although the model had low explanatory power. Potential crop damage and competition for forage were frequently cited as concerns, especially amongst those with a high level of dependence on natural resources. Given the mixed response to the proposed translocation of blue sheep to the Everest region, alleviating the reservations of local residents is likely to be key to any further consultation, planning or implementation.
Adolescence is a critical time point in the lifecourse. LifeLab is an educational intervention engaging adolescents in understanding Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) concepts and the impact of the early life environment on future health, benefitting both their long-term health and that of the next generation. We aimed to assess whether engaging adolescents with DOHaD concepts improves scientific literacy and whether engagement alone improves health behaviours.
Six schools were randomized, three to intervention and three to control. Outcome measures were changed in knowledge, and intended and actual behaviour in relation to diet and lifestyle. A total of 333 students completed baseline and follow-up questionnaires. At 12 months, intervention students showed greater understanding of DOHaD concepts. No sustained changes in behaviours were identified.
Adolescents’ engagement with DOHaD concepts can be improved and maintained over 12 months. Such engagement does not itself translate into behaviour change. The intervention has consequently been revised to include additional components beyond engagement alone.
To examine perspectives on food access among low-income families participating in a cost-offset community-supported agriculture (CO-CSA) programme.
Farm Fresh Foods for Healthy Kids (F3HK) is a multicentre randomized intervention trial assessing the effect of CO-CSA on dietary intake and quality among children from low-income families. Focus groups were conducted at the end of the first CO-CSA season. Participants were interviewed about programme experiences, framed by five dimensions of food access: availability, accessibility, affordability, acceptability and accommodation. Transcribed data were coded on these dimensions plus emergent themes.
Nine communities in the US states of New York, North Carolina, Washington and Vermont.
Fifty-three F3HK adults with children.
CSA models were structured by partner farms. Produce quantity was abundant; however, availability was enhanced for participants who were able to select their own produce items. Flexible CSA pick-up times and locations made produce pick-up more accessible. Despite being affordable to most, payment timing was a barrier for some. Unfamiliar foods and quick spoilage hindered acceptability through challenging meal planning, despite accommodations that included preparation advice.
Although CO-CSA may facilitate increased access to fruits and vegetables for low-income families, perceptions of positive diet change may be limited by the ability to incorporate share pick-up into regular travel patterns and meal planning. Food waste concerns may be particularly acute for families with constrained resources. Future research should examine whether CO-CSA with flexible logistics and produce self-selection are sustainable for low-income families and CSA farms.
The Vulnerable snow leopard Panthera uncia experiences persecution across its habitat in Central Asia, particularly from herders because of livestock losses. Given the popularity of snow leopards worldwide, transferring some of the value attributed by the international community to these predators may secure funds and support for their conservation. We administered contingent valuation surveys to 406 international visitors to the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal, between May and June 2014, to determine their willingness to pay a fee to support the implementation of a Snow Leopard Conservation Action Plan. Of the 49% of visitors who stated they would pay a snow leopard conservation fee in addition to the existing entry fee, the mean amount that they were willing to pay was USD 59 per trip. The logit regression model showed that the bid amount, the level of support for implementing the Action Plan, and the number of days spent in the Conservation Area were significant predictors of visitors’ willingness to pay. The main reasons stated by visitors for their willingness to pay were a desire to protect the environment and an affordable fee. A major reason for visitors’ unwillingness to pay was that the proposed conservation fee was too expensive for them. This study represents the first application of economic valuation to snow leopards, and is relevant to the conservation of threatened species in the Annapurna Conservation Area and elsewhere.
Mycobacterium marinum, a bacterium found in freshwater and saltwater, can infect persons with direct exposure to fish or aquariums. During December 2013, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene learned of four suspected or confirmed M. marinum skin or soft tissue infections (SSTIs) among persons who purchased whole fish from Chinese markets. Ninety-eight case-patients with non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) SSTIs were identified with onset June 2013–March 2014. Of these, 77 (79%) were female. The median age was 62 years (range 30–91). Whole genome sequencing of clinical isolates revealed two main clusters and marked genetic diversity. Environmental samples from distributors yielded NTM though not M. marinum. We compared 56 case-patients with 185 control subjects who shopped in Chinese markets, frequency-matched by age group and sex. Risk factors for infection included skin injury to the finger or hand (odds ratio [OR]: 15·5; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 6·9–37·3), hand injury while preparing fish or seafood (OR 8·3; 95% CI 3·8–19·1), and purchasing tilapia (OR 3·6; 95% CI 1·1–13·9) or whiting (OR 2·7; 95% CI 1·1–6·6). A definitive environmental outbreak source was not identified.
Adverse psychosocial working environments characterized by job strain (the combination of high demands and low control at work) are associated with an increased risk of depressive symptoms among employees, but evidence on clinically diagnosed depression is scarce. We examined job strain as a risk factor for clinical depression.
We identified published cohort studies from a systematic literature search in PubMed and PsycNET and obtained 14 cohort studies with unpublished individual-level data from the Individual-Participant-Data Meta-analysis in Working Populations (IPD-Work) Consortium. Summary estimates of the association were obtained using random-effects models. Individual-level data analyses were based on a pre-published study protocol.
We included six published studies with a total of 27 461 individuals and 914 incident cases of clinical depression. From unpublished datasets we included 120 221 individuals and 982 first episodes of hospital-treated clinical depression. Job strain was associated with an increased risk of clinical depression in both published [relative risk (RR) = 1.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.47–2.13] and unpublished datasets (RR = 1.27, 95% CI 1.04–1.55). Further individual participant analyses showed a similar association across sociodemographic subgroups and after excluding individuals with baseline somatic disease. The association was unchanged when excluding individuals with baseline depressive symptoms (RR = 1.25, 95% CI 0.94–1.65), but attenuated on adjustment for a continuous depressive symptoms score (RR = 1.03, 95% CI 0.81–1.32).
Job strain may precipitate clinical depression among employees. Future intervention studies should test whether job strain is a modifiable risk factor for depression.
We set out to investigate whether Salmonella enterica could be recovered from various tissues of viable neonatal calves immediately following parturition. Eleven samples were aseptically collected from each of 20 calves and consisted of both left and right subiliac and prescapular lymph nodes (LN), mesenteric LN, spleen and liver, as well as intestinal tissue (including luminal contents) from the small intestine, caecum, spiral colon and rectum. In addition, a faecal sample was collected from 19 of the dams. Salmonella was recovered from at least one sample from 10 of the 20 neonates. Across all calves, Salmonella was recovered from 12·7% of all samples and from LN in particular, Salmonella was recovered from 10·0%, 5·0%, and 5·0% of subiliac, prescapular, and mesenteric LN, respectively. Within calves, Salmonella was recovered from 0% to 73% of samples and across tissues, estimates of Salmonella prevalence were greatest in the caecum (30%) but was never recovered from the right pre-scapular LN. These data provide evidence of vertical transmission from a dam to her fetus such that viable calves are born already infected and thereby not requiring faecal–oral exposure for transmission. This new knowledge ought to challenge – or at least add to – existing paradigms of Salmonella transmission dynamics within cattle herds.
Both maternal 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations during pregnancy and
placental amino acid transporter gene expression have been associated with
development of the offspring in terms of body composition and bone structure.
Several amino acid transporter genes have vitamin D response elements in their
promoters suggesting the possible linkage of these two mechanisms. We aimed to
establish whether maternal 25(OH)D and vitamin D-binding protein (VDBP) levels
relate to expression of placental amino acid transporters. RNA was extracted
from 102 placental samples collected in the Southampton Women's Survey,
and gene expression was analysed using quantitative real-time PCR. Gene
expression data were normalised to the geometric mean of three housekeeping
genes, and related to maternal factors and childhood body composition. Maternal
serum 25(OH)D and VDBP levels were measured by radioimmunoassay. Maternal
25(OH)D and VDBP levels were positively associated with placental expression of
specific genes involved in amino acid transport. Maternal 25(OH)D and VDBP
concentrations were correlated with the expression of specific placental amino
acid transporters, and thus may be involved in the regulation of amino acid
transfer to the fetus. The positive correlation of VDBP levels and placental
transporter expression suggests that delivery of vitamin D to the placenta may
be important. This exploratory study identifies placental amino acid
transporters which may be altered in response to modifiable maternal factors and
provides a basis for further studies.