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The present study aimed to: (i) evaluate changes in Canadian children’s dietary quality during school hours and on school days between 2004 and 2015; and (ii) explore whether changes in dietary quality over time were moderated by sociodemographic characteristics.
Nationally representative 24 h dietary recall data were obtained from the 2004 (n 4827) and 2015 (n 2447) Canadian Community Health Surveys. Dietary quality was measured using the Canadian Healthy Eating Index (C-HEI) which evaluates respondents’ compliance with 2007 national dietary recommendations, and the school-HEI which assesses respondents’ dietary quality during school hours. Multivariable regression models compared differences in dietary quality between 2004 and 2015. Interaction effects were used to test whether changes over time were moderated by sociodemographic characteristics (sex, age group, ethnicity, residential location, province of residence, parental education, food security status).
Children aged 6–17 years.
Mean school-HEI score rose from 51.3 to 58.0 points (maximum = 100) from 2004 to 2015 (P < 0.001). School-HEI sub-scores for total vegetables and fruit, whole fruit, dark green and orange vegetables, milk and alternatives, and meat and alternatives improved over time, but remained well below recommendations. Decreased energy from minimally nutritious foods accounted for 39 % of the improvement in mean school-HEI scores. Mean whole day C-HEI scores also improved (60.8 to 66.4 points, P < 0.001). There was no evidence of a moderating effect for any of the sociodemographic variables examined.
Mean dietary quality of Canadian children during school hours and on school days improved modestly for all age and sex groups but remained below 2007 national dietary recommendations.
The Comprehensive Assessment of Neurodegeneration and Dementia (COMPASS-ND) cohort study of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) is a national initiative to catalyze research on dementia, set up to support the research agendas of CCNA teams. This cross-country longitudinal cohort of 2310 deeply phenotyped subjects with various forms of dementia and mild memory loss or concerns, along with cognitively intact elderly subjects, will test hypotheses generated by these teams.
The COMPASS-ND protocol, initial grant proposal for funding, fifth semi-annual CCNA Progress Report submitted to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research December 2017, and other documents supplemented by modifications made and lessons learned after implementation were used by the authors to create the description of the study provided here.
The CCNA COMPASS-ND cohort includes participants from across Canada with various cognitive conditions associated with or at risk of neurodegenerative diseases. They will undergo a wide range of experimental, clinical, imaging, and genetic investigation to specifically address the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these conditions in the aging population. Data derived from clinical and cognitive assessments, biospecimens, brain imaging, genetics, and brain donations will be used to test hypotheses generated by CCNA research teams and other Canadian researchers. The study is the most comprehensive and ambitious Canadian study of dementia. Initial data posting occurred in 2018, with the full cohort to be accrued by 2020.
Availability of data from the COMPASS-ND study will provide a major stimulus for dementia research in Canada in the coming years.
To examine factors that influence decision-making, preferences, and plans related to advance care planning (ACP) and end-of-life care among persons with dementia and their caregivers, and examine how these may differ by race.
13 geographically dispersed Alzheimer’s Disease Centers across the United States.
431 racially diverse caregivers of persons with dementia.
Survey on “Care Planning for Individuals with Dementia.”
The respondents were knowledgeable about dementia and hospice care, indicated the person with dementia would want comfort care at the end stage of illness, and reported high levels of both legal ACP (e.g., living will; 87%) and informal ACP discussions (79%) for the person with dementia. However, notable racial differences were present. Relative to white persons with dementia, African American persons with dementia were reported to have a lower preference for comfort care (81% vs. 58%) and lower rates of completion of legal ACP (89% vs. 73%). Racial differences in ACP and care preferences were also reflected in geographic differences. Additionally, African American study partners had a lower level of knowledge about dementia and reported a greater influence of religious/spiritual beliefs on the desired types of medical treatments. Notably, all respondents indicated that more information about the stages of dementia and end-of-life health care options would be helpful.
Educational programs may be useful in reducing racial differences in attitudes towards ACP. These programs could focus on the clinical course of dementia and issues related to end-of-life care, including the importance of ACP.
The present study assessed systematic bias and the effects of data set error on the validity of food environment measures in two municipal and two commercial secondary data sets.
Sensitivity, positive predictive value (PPV) and concordance were calculated by comparing two municipal and two commercial secondary data sets with ground-truthed data collected within 800 m buffers surrounding twenty-six schools. Logistic regression examined associations of sensitivity and PPV with commercial density and neighbourhood socio-economic deprivation. Kendall’s τ estimated correlations between density and proximity of food outlets near schools constructed with secondary data sets v. ground-truthed data.
Food retailers located within 800 m of twenty-six schools
All data sets scored relatively poorly across validity measures, although, overall, municipal data sets had higher levels of validity than did commercial data sets. Food outlets were more likely to be missing from municipal health inspections lists and commercial data sets in neighbourhoods with higher commercial density. Still, both proximity and density measures constructed from all secondary data sets were highly correlated (Kendall’s τ>0·70) with measures constructed from ground-truthed data.
Despite relatively low levels of validity in all secondary data sets examined, food environment measures constructed from secondary data sets remained highly correlated with ground-truthed data. Findings suggest that secondary data sets can be used to measure the food environment, although estimates should be treated with caution in areas with high commercial density.
Treerow vegetation abundance and biodiversity were measured in response to six orchard floor management strategies in organic peach in northern Utah for three growing seasons. A total of 32 weed species were observed in the treerow; the most common were field bindweed, dandelion, perennial grasses (e.g., red fescue and ryegrass), clovers, and prickly lettuce. Weed biomass was two to five times greater in unmanaged (living mulch) than in manipulated treatments. Tillage greatly reduced weeds for approximately one month; however, vegetation rebounded midseason. Tillage selected for species adapted to disturbance, such as common purslane and field bindweed. Straw mulch provided equivalent weed suppression to tillage in the early season. Straw required annual reapplication with material costs, labor, and weed-seed contamination (e.g., volunteer grains and quackgrass) as disadvantages. Plastic fabric mulch reduced weeds the most, but had high initial costs and required seasonal maintenance. Weed biomass declined within seasons and across the three years of the study, likely due to tree canopy shading. Neither birdsfoot trefoil nor a perennial grass mixture planted in the alleyways influenced treerow weeds. Our results demonstrate several viable alternatives to tillage for weed management in treerows of organic peach orchards in the Intermountain West.
To describe the development and application of the School Food Environment Assessment Tools and a novel scoring system to assess the integration of healthy and environmentally sustainable food initiatives in elementary and secondary schools.
The cross-sectional study included direct observations of physical food environments and interviews with key school personnel regarding food-related programmes and policies. A five-point scoring system was then developed to assess actions across six domains: (i) food gardens; (ii) composting systems; (iii) food preparation activities; (iv) food-related teaching and learning activities; and availability of (v) healthy food; and (vi) environmentally sustainable food.
A purposive sample of public schools (n 33) from all six sectors of the Vancouver Board of Education.
Schools scored highest in the areas of food garden and compost system development and use. Regular integration of food-related teaching and learning activities and hands-on food preparation experiences were also commonly reported. Most schools demonstrated rudimentary efforts to make healthy and environmentally sustainable food choices available, but in general scored lowest on these two domains. Moreover, no schools reported widespread initiatives fully supporting availability or integration of healthy or environmentally sustainable foods across campus.
More work is needed in all areas to fully integrate programmes and policies that support healthy, environmentally sustainable food systems in Vancouver schools. The assessment tools and proposed indicators offer a practical approach for researchers, policy makers and school stakeholders to assess school food system environments, identify priority areas for intervention and track relevant changes over time.
The United States Supreme Court recently employed foreign legal sources to interpret U.S. law, provoking widespread political and legal controversy. Scholars have yet to examine systematically the conditions under which justices cite foreign law, however. Applying theoretical approaches from international relations and judicial politics scholarship, we search every Supreme Court opinion between 1953 and 2009 for references to foreign law. Justices strategically reference foreign law to prop up their most controversial opinions. They also borrow law from countries whose domestic political institutions are viewed as legitimate; and, surprisingly, conservatives are as likely as liberals to cite foreign law. These findings add important information to the discussion over citing foreign law, and highlight how geopolitical context influences domestic legal policy.
To examine associations between students’ socio-economic status (SES) and school-day dietary intake, and the roles of parents and peers in shaping these associations.
A cross-sectional survey measured school-day intake of vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk, packaged snack foods and sugar-sweetened beverages. Logistic regression models examined associations between SES (parental education and food insecurity status) and dietary outcomes during or en route to or from school, and examined whether peer modelling or parental norms potentially mediated the associations between SES and dietary outcomes.
Twenty-six public schools in Vancouver, Canada in 2012.
Nine hundred and fifty students in grades 5–8.
Students whose parents completed some college, compared with those completing high school or less, were significantly more likely to consume vegetables daily (unadjusted OR=1·85; 95 % CI 1·06, 3·22) and students whose parents completed college or university were significantly less likely to consume sugar-sweetened beverages daily (unadjusted OR=0·67; 95 % CI 0·47, 0·94). Food secure students were also significantly less likely to consume sugar-sweetened beverages daily compared with food insecure students (unadjusted OR=0·52; 95 % CI 0·29, 0·92). Parental norms, but not peer modelling, emerged as a potential mediator of the association between SES and vegetable intake. SES was not significantly associated with the remaining dietary outcomes.
Higher SES was significantly associated with two of five school-day dietary outcomes and predicted higher likelihood of daily nutritious food choices at school. The present study suggests that there is room for improvement in school-day dietary quality for students from all SES backgrounds in Vancouver.
We describe two children with isolated origin of the left subclavian artery from the left pulmonary artery detected by echocardiography during the assessment of their congenital cardiac malformations. Both patients demonstrated pre-operative evidence of subclavian steal. This entity results from persistence of the dorsal segment of the sixth left arch, with regression of the left fourth arch and interruption of the left dorsal arch distal to the origin of the seventh left intersegmental artery. The significance of this finding relates to the potential for pulmonary overcirculation, which could have significant post-operative ramifications if not detected prior to surgical repair of an associated cardiac malformation. This entity differs from cases with a right aortic arch and aberrant left subclavian artery which has the potential to form a vascular ring, unlike cases with isolated origin of the left subclavian artery from the pulmonary artery that do not cause compression of the airway.
We have used a new technique to identify discrete genetic markers in aphids, a family in which biochemical and morphological genetic polymorphisms are rare. The new technique uses the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify random regions of aphid genomes (random amplified polymorphic DNA) and has been termed RAPD-PCR. We demonstrate the use of the technique in revealing genetic variation in four aphid species, the greenbug (Schizaphis graminum (Rondani)), the Russian wheat aphid (Diuraphis noxia (Mordvilko)), the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris)), and the brown ambrosia aphid (Uroleucon ambrosiae (Thomas)). In contrast with allozyme surveys, RAPD-PCR revealed large amounts of genetic variation among individuals in each of these species. Variation was detected among biotypes, populations, colour morphs and even individuals on a single plant. We also explored the utility of RAPD-PCR in the detection and identification within aphid bodies of two endoparasitic wasps, Diaeretiella rapae (McIntosh) and Lysiphlebus testaceipes (Cresson). The use of RAPD-PCR in species diagnostics, parasitoid detection, and population studies is discussed.
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