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The cornerstone of obesity treatment is behavioural weight management, resulting in significant improvements in cardio-metabolic and psychosocial health. However, there is ongoing concern that dietary interventions used for weight management may precipitate the development of eating disorders. Systematic reviews demonstrate that, while for most participants medically supervised obesity treatment improves risk scores related to eating disorders, a subset of people who undergo obesity treatment may have poor outcomes for eating disorders. This review summarises the background and rationale for the formation of the Eating Disorders In weight-related Therapy (EDIT) Collaboration. The EDIT Collaboration will explore the complex risk factor interactions that precede changes to eating disorder risk following weight management. In this review, we also outline the programme of work and design of studies for the EDIT Collaboration, including expected knowledge gains. The EDIT studies explore risk factors and the interactions between them using individual-level data from international weight management trials. Combining all available data on eating disorder risk from weight management trials will allow sufficient sample size to interrogate our hypothesis: that individuals undertaking weight management interventions will vary in their eating disorder risk profile, on the basis of personal characteristics and intervention strategies available to them. The collaboration includes the integration of health consumers in project development and translation. An important knowledge gain from this project is a comprehensive understanding of the impact of weight management interventions on eating disorder risk.
Adolescence is a critical time of physical, psychological and social development, and thus, optimal nutritional intakes are required during this life stage. Despite this, adolescence is recognised as a period of nutritional vulnerability, with many reportedly failing to meet current dietary guidelines. The school-setting presents a favourable environment to intervene and promote positive dietary behaviours and is also inclusive regardless of socio-economic status. However, a lack of consensus exists on how best to utilise schools to facilitate improvements in dietary behaviours among this age group. Whilst previous research has focused on identifying the factors motivating dietary choices within the school-setting, less is known on the optimum strategies to enhance these dietary choices which could positively contribute to the design of future interventions. It is reported that adolescents have good nutritional knowledge, although this does not appear to be a central consideration when making their dietary choices. Alternative factors at the individual (taste, visual appeal, familiarity, food quality, price, portion size, value for money, time/ convenience), social (peer influence), physical (product placement) and macro environment (food availability) levels have been frequently cited as important influences on adolescents' dietary choices in school. Although school-based interventions have shown potential in achieving positive dietary change among adolescents, more research is needed to determine the most effective methods in improving dietary behaviours in schools. This review summarises the key factors which influence adolescents' school-based dietary choices and the effectiveness of previously conducted interventions, identifying promising components for consideration when developing future dietary interventions within the school-setting.
Understanding spatial variation in origination and extinction can help to unravel the mechanisms underlying macroevolutionary patterns. Although methods have been developed for estimating global origination and extinction rates from the fossil record, no framework exists for applying these methods to restricted spatial regions. Here, we test the efficacy of three metrics for regional analysis, using simulated fossil occurrences. These metrics are then applied to the marine invertebrate record of the Permian and Triassic to examine variation in extinction and origination rates across latitudes. Extinction and origination rates were generally uniform across latitudes for these time intervals, including during the Capitanian and Permian–Triassic mass extinctions. The small magnitude of this variation, combined with the possibility of its attribution to sampling bias, cautions against linking any observed differences to contrasting evolutionary dynamics. Our results indicate that origination and extinction levels were more variable across clades than across latitudes.
Reported childhood adversity (CA) is associated with development of depression in adulthood and predicts a more severe course of illness. Although elevated serotonin 1A receptor (5-HT1AR) binding potential, especially in the raphe nuclei, has been shown to be a trait associated with major depression, we did not replicate this finding in an independent sample using the partial agonist positron emission tomography tracer [11C]CUMI-101. Evidence suggests that CA can induce long-lasting changes in expression of 5-HT1AR, and thus, a history of CA may explain the disparate findings.
Following up on our initial report, 28 unmedicated participants in a current depressive episode (bipolar n = 16, unipolar n = 12) and 19 non-depressed healthy volunteers (HVs) underwent [11C]CUMI-101 imaging to quantify 5-HT1AR binding potential. Participants in a depressive episode were stratified into mild/moderate and severe CA groups via the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. We hypothesized higher hippocampal and raphe nuclei 5-HT1AR with severe CA compared with mild/moderate CA and HVs.
There was a group-by-region effect (p = 0.011) when considering HV, depressive episode mild/moderate CA, and depressive episode severe CA groups, driven by significantly higher hippocampal 5-HT1AR binding potential in participants in a depressive episode with severe CA relative to HVs (p = 0.019). Contrary to our hypothesis, no significant binding potential differences were detected in the raphe nuclei (p-values > 0.05).
With replication in larger samples, elevated hippocampal 5-HT1AR binding potential may serve as a promising biomarker through which to investigate the neurobiological link between CA and depression.
Scholars, pundits, and politicians use opinion surveys to study citizen beliefs about political facts, such as the current unemployment rate, and more conspiratorial beliefs, such as whether Barack Obama was born abroad. Many studies, however, ignore acquiescence-response bias, the tendency for survey respondents to endorse any assertion made in a survey question regardless of content. With new surveys fielding questions asked in recent scholarship, we show that acquiescence bias inflates estimated incidence of conspiratorial beliefs and political misperceptions in the United States and China by up to 50%. Acquiescence bias is disproportionately prevalent among more ideological respondents, inflating correlations between political ideology such as conservatism and endorsement of conspiracies or misperception of facts. We propose and demonstrate two methods to correct for acquiescence bias.
Currently recommended landmarks for captive-bolt euthanasia of cattle often result in failure to penetrate the brainstem. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability to disrupt the brainstem by placing the shot at a higher position on the head. Intact heads from euthanased animals or natural mortalities were used for this study. Heads were grouped as adult (> 2 years), young (6-24 months) and neonate (< 1 month) and randomly assigned to either the LOW group (the intersection of two lines drawn from the medial canthus to the top of the opposite ear) or the HIGH group (midline halfway between the top of the poll and an imaginary line connecting each lateral canthus). Each head received a single shot from a CASH penetrating captive bolt with bolt length and power load selected based on manufacturer's recommendations. Computed tomography images of each head were evaluated independently by two veterinary radiologists. Brainstem disruption was assumed to occur if the bolt passed caudal to the presphenoid bone and deep to the third ventricle and was within 1.5 cm of midline. Brainstem disruption occurred in 16/18 adult HIGH and 7/14 adult LOW heads, 13/16 young HIGH and 11/19 young LOW heads, and 11/11 neonate HIGH and 14/14 neonate LOW heads. The higher shot location landmarks used in this study increased the probability of disrupting the brainstem when adult cattle were shot with a penetrating captive bolt which should reduce the risk of regaining sensibility. Reliable brainstem disruption is a precondition for considering penetrating captive bolt as a single-step euthanasia method. Further research is needed to determine if this method will reliably ensure a humane death.
Humane euthanasia of cattle represents a challenge to the beef and dairy industries. Penetrating captive bolt, while traditionally considered to be only a stunning method, can be an effective single-step euthanasia method if both the cerebral cortex and brainstem are disrupted. This report describes a preliminary study investigating the likelihood of brainstem disruption for two captive-bolt shot locations. Heads were collected from 15 cattle that died or were euthanised for reason unrelated to the study and were then randomly assigned to one of two shot placement groups. Heads in the first group (n = 7) were shot at the intersection of two lines drawn from the medial canthus to the opposite horn or top of the opposite ear. Heads in the second group (n = 8) were shot at the intersection of two lines drawn for the lateral canthus to the opposite horn or top of the opposite ear. The guns were held perpendicular (as assessed visually) to the plane of the forehead. Shot placement was then assessed using computed tomography and disruption of the brainstem was determined. In the first group, the captive bolt failed to disrupt the brainstem in any of the heads. In the second group, the bolt disrupted the brainstem in 6 of 8 heads. The results suggest that selecting a higher shot location leads more readily to disruption of the brainstem which reduces the risk of regaining sensibility and should therefore improve animal welfare when cattle are euthanised with a penetrating captive bolt.
Humane euthanasia of cattle under field conditions presents special challenges for veterinarians and producers. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the CASH Dispatch Kit captive-bolt system combined with improved shot placement landmarks as a single-step euthanasia method for cattle. Cattle destined for euthanasia for reasons unrelated to the study were utilised. Adult (> 2 years), young (6-24 months) and neonatal (< 1 month) cattle each received a single shot from the CASH penetrating captive-bolt pistol. An additional group of neonatal animals was shot with a non-penetrating muzzle attachment. The shot was placed on midline halfway between the top of the poll and an imaginary line connecting the lateral canthus of each eye. Following the shot, the animals were immediately assessed for loss of consciousness based upon: i) immediate collapse (if standing); ii) loss of eye reflexes with a centered, dilated pupil; iii) lack of co-ordinated respiration; iv) lack of vocalisation; and v) lack of a righting reflex. Lack of consciousness and heartbeat were assessed at 1-min intervals until cardiac arrest. All animals were adequately stunned by a single shot. Euthanasia via a single shot was successful in 28/31, 17/19, 8/10, and 9/10 adult, young, neonate (penetrating) and neonate (non-penetrating) animals, respectively. Reasons for failure included return of co-ordinated respiration and prolonged time until cardiac arrest. A single shot from the CASH Dispatch captive-bolt system will humanely euthanase most animals. However, the results of this study indicate that application of a follow-up step to ensure death is still needed in certain instances.
Monitoring parrot populations is of high importance because there is a general lack of quantified population trends for one of the most threatened avian orders. We surveyed parrots in Nicaragua in 1995, 1999, 2004, and 2013 at a minimum of 227 points within 56 sites stratified among the Pacific, Central Highlands, and Caribbean biogeographical regions to assess population trends. From point-count data we calculated encounter rate, flock rate, and flock size metrics and we used presence/absence data to generate species-specific occupancy estimates. Encounter rate, flock rate, and flock size data suggested family-level declines from 1995 to 2004 with some recovery between 2004 and 2013. Patterns of parrot occupancy varied among species with four decreasing, five increasing, and two with no detectable change. Six species of conservation concern are identified, including the Critically Endangered Great Green Macaw and Yellow-naped Parrot, additionally Olive-throated Parakeet, Scarlet Macaw, Brown-hooded Parrot, and White-crowned Parrot, only listed as Least Concern. All six are likely suffering from deforestation and potential unchecked trade activity in the Caribbean. Differing population trends of the regionally disjunct Yellow-naped Parrot subspecies suggest a link to variable deforestation and trade pressure experienced between the Pacific and Caribbean. Our results highlight the importance of actively monitoring changing parrot populations, even when considered Least Concern, so that directed conservation actions can be taken if needed.
Little is known about environmental factors that may influence associations between genetic liability to suicidality and suicidal behavior.
This study examined whether a suicidality polygenic risk score (PRS) derived from a large genome-wide association study (N = 122,935) was associated with suicide attempts in a population-based sample of European-American US military veterans (N = 1664; 92.5% male), and whether cumulative lifetime trauma exposure moderated this association.
Eighty-five veterans (weighted 6.3%) reported a history of suicide attempt. After adjusting for sociodemographic and psychiatric characteristics, suicidality PRS was associated with lifetime suicide attempt (odds ratio 2.65; 95% CI 1.37–5.11). A significant suicidality PRS-by-trauma exposure interaction emerged, such that veterans with higher levels of suicidality PRS and greater trauma burden had the highest probability of lifetime suicide attempt (16.6%), whereas the probability of attempts was substantially lower among those with high suicidality PRS and low trauma exposure (1.4%). The PRS-by-trauma interaction effect was enriched for genes implicated in cellular and developmental processes, and nervous system development, with variants annotated to the DAB2 and SPNS2 genes, which are implicated in inflammatory processes. Drug repurposing analyses revealed upregulation of suicide gene-sets in the context of medrysone, a drug targeting chronic inflammation, and clofibrate, a triacylglyceride level lowering agent.
Results suggest that genetic liability to suicidality is associated with increased risk of suicide attempt among veterans, particularly in the presence of high levels of cumulative trauma exposure. Additional research is warranted to investigate whether incorporation of genomic information may improve suicide prediction models.
The 2020 presidential election brought expanded vote-by-mail opportunities, a rise in attacks on this process’s integrity, and the implementation of novel programs such as California’s Where’s My Ballot? system to ensure confidence in mail balloting. Can heightening awareness of this ballot-tracking system and other election protections alleviate fraud concerns and raise turnout? We assess whether messages reinforcing election integrity increased participation in the 2020 election through a large-scale voter mobilization field experiment. California registrants were mailed a letter that described either existing safeguards to prevent vote-by-mail fraud or the ability to track one’s ballot and ensure that it was counted. Analysis of state voter records reveals that neither message increased turnout over a simple election reminder or even no contact, even among subgroups where larger effects might be expected. In the context of a high-profile, high-turnout presidential election, assurances about ballot and electoral integrity did not increase turnout.
Elected representatives do not faithfully deliver policies desired by majorities of their constituents. While many blame special interests or failures by voters for frustrated majorities, I suggest these explanations incomplete. Voters can cause candidates for office to frustrate majorities because of differences in issue intensity. This chapter presents the controversy, the basic argument, connections to single-issue voters and issue publics, the main results, and the scope and outline of the book.
In order for intensity theory to help explain political systems, voters must vary in how intensely they care about issues. The goal of this chapter is to provide evidence that issue preferences influence vote choice similarly to their assumed operation in intensity theory. I present some of the existing evidence on this matter, explain the debate, and then provide an exploration of issue intensity and vote choice in the 2016 American presidential election.
In this chapter I explore three extensions to the mathematical model presented in Chapter 4. First, I show that the results do not depend upon the balance of minority to majority assumed in Chapter 4. Instead, at any ratio of majority to minority size, candidates might side with an intense minority over a less-intense majority. Candidates do not, however, side with any intense minority, siding only with those of a sufficient combination of size and intensity. Second, I consider the free-rider problem in large electorates. I discuss a modification to the mathematical model where increasing the size of the electorate does not prevent some voters from choosing to incur costly political action. Finally, I consider the social welfare implications of intensity theory showing that utilitarian welfare can sometimes be higher with frustrated majorities and costly political action than under simple majority rule.
In this chapter I present results from a mathematical formalization of intensity theory. I apply tools from game theory to analyze the dynamics of electoral competition when voters vary in how much they care about policy and when candidates do not know which voters care more and less intensely. I show that candidates for office choose policy platforms as a function of the size and intensity of opposing policy coalitions. Candidates sometimes set policy with an intense minority even though they know that a less-intense majority wants the opposite policy. But they also sometimes choose not to frustrate majorities even with an intense minority.