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This scoping review aimed to explore international evidence on the impact of Food Policy Groups (FPGs) on local food systems, in urban and rural regions of high-income countries. Peer-reviewed and grey literature were searched to identify thirty-one documents published between 2002 and 2022 providing evidence on the impact of FPGs. Activities spanned domains including increasing food equity (e.g. strengthening school meals programmes); increasing knowledge and/or demand for healthy food (e.g. food literacy programmes with children and adults); increasing food access (e.g. enhancing local food procurement); environmental sustainability (e.g. promoting low-waste food items on café menus); economic development (e.g. ensuring local businesses are not outperformed by large food distributors); and increasing food system resiliency (e.g. establishment of local produce schemes). Most FPGs reported conducting activities that positively influenced multiple food system domains and reported activities in urban areas, and to a lesser extent in rural areas. Our study highlighted a range of qualitative and quantitative evaluation strategies used to measure FPGs’ impact on local food systems. Our recommendations focus on regular and systematic evaluation and research surrounding the impact of FPG activities, to build the evidence base of their impact. Ideally, evaluation would utilise comprehensive and established tools. We recommend exploring the establishment of FPGs across more regions of high-income countries, particularly rural areas, and forming partnerships between FPGs, local government and universities to maximise implementation and evaluation of activities.
With the aim of producing a 3D representation of tumors, imaging and molecular annotation of xenografts and tumors (IMAXT) uses a large variety of modalities in order to acquire tumor samples and produce a map of every cell in the tumor and its host environment. With the large volume and variety of data produced in the project, we developed automatic data workflows and analysis pipelines. We introduce a research methodology where scientists connect to a cloud environment to perform analysis close to where data are located, instead of bringing data to their local computers. Here, we present the data and analysis infrastructure, discuss the unique computational challenges and describe the analysis chains developed and deployed to generate molecularly annotated tumor models. Registration is achieved by use of a novel technique involving spherical fiducial marks that are visible in all imaging modalities used within IMAXT. The automatic pipelines are highly optimized and allow to obtain processed datasets several times quicker than current solutions narrowing the gap between data acquisition and scientific exploitation.
For a small minority of personnel, military service can have a negative impact on their mental health. Yet no studies have assessed how the mental health of UK veterans (who served during the recent operations in Afghanistan or Iraq) compares to non-veterans, to determine if they are at a disadvantage. We examine the prevalence of mental disorders and alcohol misuse in UK veterans compared to non-veterans.
Veteran data were taken from the third phase of the King's Centre for Military Health Research cohort study (n = 2917). These data were compared with data on non-veterans taken from two large general population surveys: 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (n = 5871) and wave 6 of the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS, n = 22 760).
We found that, overall, UK veterans who served at the time of recent military operations were more likely to report a significantly higher prevalence of common mental disorders (CMD) (23% v. 16%), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (8% v. 5%) and alcohol misuse (11% v. 6%) than non-veterans. Stratifying by gender showed that the negative impact of being a veteran on mental health and alcohol misuse was restricted to male veterans. Being ill or disabled was associated with a higher prevalence of CMD and PTSD for both veterans and non-veterans.
Whilst the same sociodemographic groups within the veteran and non-veteran populations seemed to have an increased risk of mental health problems (e.g. those who were unemployed), male veterans, in particular, appear to be at a distinct disadvantage compared to those who have never served.
Childhood maltreatment is one of the strongest predictors of adulthood depression and alterations to circulating levels of inflammatory markers is one putative mechanism mediating risk or resilience.
To determine the effects of childhood maltreatment on circulating levels of 41 inflammatory markers in healthy individuals and those with a major depressive disorder (MDD) diagnosis.
We investigated the association of childhood maltreatment with levels of 41 inflammatory markers in two groups, 164 patients with MDD and 301 controls, using multiplex electrochemiluminescence methods applied to blood serum.
Childhood maltreatment was not associated with altered inflammatory markers in either group after multiple testing correction. Body mass index (BMI) exerted strong effects on interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein levels in those with MDD.
Childhood maltreatment did not exert effects on inflammatory marker levels in either the participants with MDD or the control group in our study. Our results instead highlight the more pertinent influence of BMI.
Declaration of interest
D.A.C. and H.W. work for Eli Lilly Inc. R.N. has received speaker fees from Sunovion, Jansen and Lundbeck. G.B. has received consultancy fees and funding from Eli Lilly. R.H.M.-W. has received consultancy fees or has a financial relationship with AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cyberonics, Eli Lilly, Ferrer, Janssen-Cilag, Lundbeck, MyTomorrows, Otsuka, Pfizer, Pulse, Roche, Servier, SPIMACO and Sunovian. I.M.A. has received consultancy fees or has a financial relationship with Alkermes, Lundbeck, Lundbeck/Otsuka, and Servier. S.W. has sat on an advisory board for Sunovion, Allergan and has received speaker fees from Astra Zeneca. A.H.Y. has received honoraria for speaking from Astra Zeneca, Lundbeck, Eli Lilly, Sunovion; honoraria for consulting from Allergan, Livanova and Lundbeck, Sunovion, Janssen; and research grant support from Janssen. A.J.C. has received honoraria for speaking from Astra Zeneca, honoraria for consulting with Allergan, Livanova and Lundbeck and research grant support from Lundbeck.
Little is known about the prevalence of mental health outcomes in UK personnel at the end of the British involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
We examined the prevalence of mental disorders and alcohol misuse, whether this differed between serving and ex-serving regular personnel and by deployment status.
This is the third phase of a military cohort study (2014–2016; n = 8093). The sample was based on participants from previous phases (2004–2006 and 2007–2009) and a new randomly selected sample of those who had joined the UK armed forces since 2009.
The prevalence was 6.2% for probable post-traumatic stress disorder, 21.9% for common mental disorders and 10.0% for alcohol misuse. Deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan and a combat role during deployment were associated with significantly worse mental health outcomes and alcohol misuse in ex-serving regular personnel but not in currently serving regular personnel.
The findings highlight an increasing prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder and a lowering prevalence of alcohol misuse compared with our previous findings and stresses the importance of continued surveillance during service and beyond.
Declaration of interest:
All authors are based at King's College London which, for the purpose of this study and other military-related studies, receives funding from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). S.A.M.S., M.J., L.H., D.P., S.M. and R.J.R. salaries were totally or partially paid by the UK MoD. The UK MoD provides support to the Academic Department of Military Mental Health, and the salaries of N.J., N.G. and N.T.F. are covered totally or partly by this contribution. D.Mu. is employed by Combat Stress, a national UK charity that provides clinical mental health services to veterans. D.MacM. is the lead consultant for an NHS Veteran Mental Health Service. N.G. is the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Lead for Military and Veterans’ Health, a trustee of Walking with the Wounded, and an independent director at the Forces in Mind Trust; however, he was not directed by these organisations in any way in relation to his contribution to this paper. N.J. is a full-time member of the armed forces seconded to King's College London. N.T.F. reports grants from the US Department of Defense and the UK MoD, is a trustee (unpaid) of The Warrior Programme and an independent advisor to the Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data (IGARD). S.W. is a trustee (unpaid) of Combat Stress and Honorary Civilian Consultant Advisor in Psychiatry for the British Army (unpaid). S.W. is affiliated to the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Emergency Preparedness and Response at King's College London in partnership with Public Health England, in collaboration with the University of East Anglia and Newcastle University. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the National Health Service, the NIHR, the Department of Health, Public Health England or the UK MoD.
Little is known about the aetiology of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME); prospective studies suggest a role for premorbid mood disorder.
To examine childhood and early adult adversity, ill health and physical activity as premorbid risk markers for CFS/ME by 42 years, taking psychopathology into account.
Data were from the 1958 British birth cohort, a prospective study from birth to 42 years (n = 11 419). The outcomes were self-reported CFS/ME (n = 127) and operationally defined CFS-like illness (n = 241) at 42 years.
Adjusting for psychopathology, parental physical abuse (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10, 95% CI 1.16–3.81), childhood gastrointestinal symptoms (OR = 1.58, 95% CI 1.00–2.50) and parental reports of many colds (OR = 1.65, 95% CI 1.09–2.50) were independently associated with self-reported CFS/ME. Female gender and premorbid psychopathology were the only risk markers for CFS-like illness, independent of comorbid psychopathology.
This confirms the importance of premorbid psychopathology in the aetiological pathways of CFS/ME, and replicates retrospective findings that childhood adversity may play a role in a minority.
The aim of our study was to examine psychosocial changes associated with participation in a camp for children with cardiac defects. We enrolled 29 children with cardiac defects aged from 8 to 18 years, along with their parents. Both the parents and the children completed measures of expectations for the camp and anxiety. Analyses of repeated measures indicated that levels of anxiety amongst the children decreased significantly at the end of camp when compared to its beginning. Levels of anxiety amongst the children were not statistically different at follow-up. Anxiety amongst the parents concerning the separation from their children also decreased at follow-up when compared to before the camp. Higher levels of anxiety reported by the children prior to the camp were associated with greater anxiety amongst the parents concerning the anticipated separation, more negative parental expectations of the camp, fewer experiences of separation from their children, and lower expectations by the children for the camping experience. Reductions in anxiety amongst the children following the camp were associated with negative parental expectations about the camping experience. The camping environment can provide a naturalistic exposure to new experiences for the child, and a successful separation for the parent, thereby promoting confidence amongst the parents in the ability of their children to function independently.
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