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This research note analyzes the incentives of different types of policy areas for a president to keep or dismiss a minister. It uses ministerial survival analysis to compare foreign and domestic policy areas, focusing on comparable and analogous presidential decisions among countries and portfolios. The research utilizes ministerial survival data for education, finance, health, and foreign policy between 1945 and 2020 in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. Using Cox regression models, we find that a foreign policy portfolio has a positive effect on ministerial survival, but the specificity of this portfolio does not hold for autocratic governments. Autocracies show higher levels of ministerial survival in all four portfolios, but a foreign policy portfolio is no more stable than domestic portfolios. Democratic presidents have the incentive to signal stability to the international audience, preserving the foreign policy portfolio from the frequent ministerial changes in domestic portfolios.
In the context of the global childhood obesity, it is essential to monitor the nutrition value of commercial foods. A cross-sectional study (November 2018 to April 2019) aimed to evaluate the nutritional adequacy of processed/ultra-processed food products targeted at 0–36-month-old children in Portugal and in Brazil. The nutrient profiling model developed by the Pan American Health Organization was used. A total of food 171 products were assessed (123 in Portugal and forty eight in Brazil). From the fifteen available meat- or fish-based meals in Brazil, 60 % exceeded the amount of Na and 100 % exceeded the target for total fat. Given the lack of specification of sugars within carbohydrates in the label of the foods in Brazil, it was not possible to calculate free sugars. In Portugal, from the seventeen fruit and vegetable purees and the six juice/smoothie/tea/drinks available, 82 % and 67 %, respectively, surpassed the level of free sugar, while total and saturated fat was excessive in all yogurt and yogurt-related products (n 21), 40 % of biscuit/wafer/crisps (two out of five) and 13 % meat- or fish-based meals (two out of sixteen). These findings demonstrate the relevance of improving the nutritional profile of some food products targeted to young children.
This paper explores external (country-level) and internal (party-level) drivers of membership variations across parties. Relying on the Political Party Database combined with other datasets, we provide original, cross-sectional analyses of membership variation across 223 parties in 38 countries, innovatively covering third-wave democracies, post-communist countries, and advanced democracies. It allows for a unique analysis of recruitment patterns of parties under quite different contexts. Departing from the dominant view that parties are the powerless victims of external trends, we show that, while context matters, parties’ choices regarding affiliation rules and organization structure also matter. They are more powerful determinants of membership ratios than country-level variables. Especially, the representation of sub-groups in the party structure is a key driver of membership recruitment. We also show how party origins, and the foundational environment in which they emerged, are important to understand how membership varies across parties today. Overall, this study strongly advocates for a broad comparative, multilevel approach to party membership.
Young people can receive mental health care from many sources, from formal and informal sectors. Caregiver characteristics/experiences/beliefs may influence whether young people get help and the type of care or support used by their child. We investigate facilitators/barriers to receiving formal and/or informal care, particularly those related to the caregiver’s profile.
We interviewed 1,400 Brazilian primary caregivers of young people (aged 10–19), participants of a high-risk cohort. Caregivers reported on young people’s formal/informal mental health care utilization, and associated barriers and facilitators to care. Data were also collected on youth mental health and its impact on everyday life; and caregiver characteristics—education, socioeconomics, ethnicity, mental health, and stigma. Logistic regression models were used to examine the relationship between caregiver and young people characteristics with formal/informal care utilization.
Persistence and greater impact of youth mental health conditions were associated with a higher likelihood of care, more clearly for formal care. Caregiver characteristics, however, also played a key role in whether young people received any care: lower parental stigma was associated with greater formal service use, and lower socioeconomic class showed higher odds of informal care (mainly from religious leaders).
This study highlights the key role of the caregivers as gatekeepers to child treatment access, particularly parental stigma influencing whether young people received any mental health care, even in a low resource setting. These results help to map barriers for treatment access and delivery for young people, aiming to improve intervention efforts and mental health support.
Few studies have focused on nutrient-deficient diets and associated pathobiological dynamics of body composition and intestinal barrier function. This study evaluated the impact of a nutrient-deficient diet on physical development and intestinal morphofunctional barrier in mice. C57BL/6 (21 days of age) mice were fed a Northeastern Brazil regional basic diet (RBD) or a control diet for 21 d. The animals were subjected to bioimpedance analysis, lactulose test, morphometric analysis and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR to evaluate tight junctions and intestinal transporters. RBD feeding significantly reduced weight (P < 0·05) from day 5, weight gain from day 3 and tail length from day 14. The intake of RBD reduced total body water, extracellular fluid, fat mass and fat-free mass from day 7 (P < 0·05). RBD induced changes in the jejunum, with an increase in the villus:crypt ratio on day 7, followed by reduction on days 14 and 21 (P < 0·05). Lactulose:mannitol ratio increased on day 14 (P < 0·05). Changes in intestinal barrier function on day 14 were associated with reductions in claudin-1 and occludin, and on day 21, there was a reduction in the levels of claudin-2 and occludin. SGLT-1 levels decreased on day 21. RBD compromises body composition and physical development with dynamic changes in intestinal barrier morphofunctional. RBD is associated with damage to intestinal permeability, reduced levels of claudin-1 and occludin transcripts and return of bowel function in a chronic period.
Does national media news coverage affect the behavior of legislators when deciding foreign policy matters? This article aims to disentangle the relationship between the media and legislative behavior in foreign policy, using Paraguay as a case study. We analyze the level of public debate on international affairs, measured by the frequency of news in the newspaper ABC Color in the six months before the roll-call votes on the Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay. The literature on Latin American studies finds a lack of parliamentary interest in foreign affairs due to low voter attention to this subject, and therefore a low impact on reelections. We find the relationship between parliamentary polarization and public interest in a bill to be mediated by mass media. After estimating a Tobit model, we observe a significant and positive relationship between the news coverage a law receives and the degree of polarization among parliamentarians. Thus, our empirical evidence contradicts the idea that there is a lack of electoral interest in foreign policy. We confirm this finding through qualitative data gathered from in-depth interviews.
Mental health problems early in life can negatively impact educational attainment, which in turn have negative long-term effects on health, social and economic opportunities. Our aims were to: (i) estimate the impacts of different types of psychiatric conditions on educational outcomes and (ii) to estimate the proportion of adverse educational outcomes which can be attributed to psychiatric conditions.
Participants (N = 2511) were from a school-based community cohort of Brazilian children and adolescents aged 6–14 years enriched for high family risk of psychiatric conditions. We examined the impact of fear- (panic, separation and social anxiety disorder, specific phobia, agoraphobia and anxiety conditions not otherwise specified), distress- (generalised anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder and depressive disorder not otherwise specified, bipolar, obsessive-compulsive, tic, eating and post-traumatic stress disorder) and externalising-related conditions (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, conduct and oppositional-defiant conditions) on grade repetition, dropout, age-grade distortion, literacy performance and bullying perpetration, 3 years later. Psychiatric conditions were ascertained by psychiatrists, using the Development and Well-Being Behaviour Assessment. Propensity score and inverse probability weighting were used to adjust for potential confounders, including comorbidity, and sample attrition. We calculated the population attributable risk percentages to estimate the proportion of adverse educational outcomes in the population which could be attributed to psychiatric conditions. Analyses were conducted separately for males and females.
Fear and distress conditions in males were associated with school dropout (odds ratio (OR) = 2.76; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.06, 7.22; p < 0.05) and grade repetition (OR = 2.76; 95% CI = 1.32, 5.78; p < 0.01), respectively. Externalising conditions were associated with grade repetition in males (OR = 1.66; 95% CI = 1.05, 2.64; p < 0.05) and females (OR = 2.03; 95% CI = 1.15, 3.58; p < 0.05), as well as age-grade distortion in males (OR = 1.66; 95% CI = 1.05, 2.62; p < 0.05) and females (OR = 2.88; 95% CI = 1.61, 5.14; p < 0.001). Externalising conditions were also associated with lower literacy levels (β = −0.23; 95% CI = −0.34, −0.12; p < 0.001) and bullying perpetration (OR = 3.12; 95% CI = 1.50, 6.51; p < 0.001) in females. If all externalising conditions were prevented or treated, we estimate that 5.0 and 4.8% of grade repetition would not have occurred in females and males, respectively, as well as 10.2 (females) and 5.3% (males) of age-grade distortion cases and 11.4% of female bullying perpetration.
The study provides evidence of the negative impact of psychiatric conditions on educational outcomes in a large Brazilian cohort. Externalising conditions had the broadest and most robust negative impacts on education and these were particularly harmful to females which are likely to limit future socio-economic opportunities.
This article proposes a novel theoretical framework to account for the combined effects of regime type and patterns of executive authority on legislative party unity. We argue that broad presidential legislative powers favour coordination between the president and legislative parties under pure presidentialism, whereas under semi-presidentialism, strong presidents increase the potential for intra-executive conflict, submitting parties to cross-cutting pressures. We expect higher levels of legislative authority to increase party unity under presidentialism but decrease under semi-presidentialism. Moreover, when presidents are endowed with limited legislative authority, semi-presidentialism produces higher levels of party unity than presidentialism, but for sufficiently high levels of legislative authority there should be no difference across regime types. Our analyses of 1,586 pooled observations for 72 democracies from all regions of the world using the V-Dem measure of party cohesion demonstrate that presidential legislative authority, in combination with regime type, is indeed a key predictor of party unity.
This study aimed to characterise the availability, the nutritional composition and the processing degree of industrial foods for 0–36-month-old children according to the neighbourhoods affluence.
A cross-sectional exploratory study.
All food products available in retail stores for children aged 0–36 months were analysed. Data collection took place in two neighbourhoods, comparing two different sociodemographic districts (high v. low per capita income), Campanhã and Foz do Douro in Porto, Portugal.
A total of 431 commercially processed food products for children aged 0–36 months which are sold in 23 retail stores were identified. Food products were classified according to their processing degree using the NOVA Food Classification System.
For NOVA analysis, of the 244 food products that were included 82 (33·6 %) were minimally processed, 25 (10·2 %) processed and 137 (56·1 %) ultra processed. No food product was classified as a culinary ingredient. The products included mostly cereals, yogurts, prevailed in high-income neighbourhoods for the 0–6-month-old group. It was observed that some categories of ultra-processed food (UPF) presented higher amounts of energy, sugars, saturated fat and salt than unprocessed/minimally processed products.
The high availability of UPF offered for 0–36-month-old children should be considered when designing interventions to promote a healthy diet in infancy.
Although mental distress and quality of life (QoL) impairments because of the pandemic have increased worldwide, the way that each community has been affected has varied.
This study evaluated the impact of social distancing imposed by coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) on Brazilians’ mental health and QoL.
In this cross-sectional community-based online survey, data from 1156 community-dwelling adults were gathered between 11 May and 3 June 2020. We examined independent correlates of depression, anxiety and QoL, including sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, optimism/pessimism and spiritual/religious coping. Dependent variables were assessed using the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire for depressive symptoms, the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale for anxiety symptoms, and the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF for QoL. Correlates of depressive and anxiety disorder were estimated using logistic regression.
There were high levels of depressive symptoms (41.9%) and anxiety symptoms (29.0%) in participants. Negative spiritual/religious coping was positively correlated with depressive disorder (odds ratio (OR) = 2.14 95% CI 1.63–2.80; P < 0.001) and with anxiety disorder (OR = 2.46 95% CI 1.90–3.18; P < 0.001), and associated with worse social and environmental QoL (P < 0.001). Healthcare professionals were less likely to have depressive symptoms (OR = 0.71, 95% CI 0.55–0.93; P < 0.001). Participants with friend/family with COVID-19 scored lower on psychological and environmental QoL (P < 0.05). Participants with a longer duration of social isolation were less likely to experience anxiety disorder (OR = 0.99, 95% CI 0.98–0.99; P = 0.004).
We found high levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms and low levels of QoL in Brazil, which has become a pandemic epicentre. Several characteristics were associated with negative mental health symptoms in this study. This information may contribute to local health policies in dealing with the mental health consequences of COVID-19.
Tropical forest hotspots have a high diversity of species but have lost > 70% of their original vegetation cover and are characterized by a multitude of small and isolated fragments. Paradoxically, conservation actions in these areas are still mainly focused on protection of large tracts of forests, a strategy now infeasible because of the small area of forest remnants. Here we use the Vulnerable black-handed titi monkey Callicebus melanochir as a model to study the effects of habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation on arboreal mammals and to provide insights for science-driven conservation in fragmented landscapes in tropical forest hotspots. We surveyed 38 Atlantic Forest fragments in Bahia State, Brazil and assessed the effects of patch area, quality and visibility, and landscape connectivity on the occurrence of our model species. Patch area was the single best model explaining species occurrence. Nonetheless, patch quality and visibility, and landscape connectivity, positively affect occurrence. In addition to patch area, patch quality, patch visibility and landscape connectivity are useful for predicting the occurrence of arboreal mammals in the fragments of tropical forest hotspots. We encourage the assessment of habitat quality (based on remotely sensed vegetation indices) and habitat visibility (based on digital elevation models) to improve discoverability of arboreal mammal populations and selection of fragments for conservation purposes across fragmented landscapes of tropical forest hotspots. Large remnants of tropical forest hotspots are scarce and therefore we require baseline data to support conservation actions and management in small forest fragments.
Considering the negative impact of the consumption of ultra-processed foods on health, the current study assessed the availability and nutritional profile of commercial ultra-processed foods for infants in Natal, Brazil.
A cross-sectional exploratory study.
Foods targeted at children under the age of 36 months sold in retail establishments located in high- and low-income areas of the one capital city of Brazil.
1645 food products consisting of ninety-five different types of food were available. The foods were assessed according to the NOVA classification: minimally processed, processed and ultra-processed. The nutritional content per 100 g was assessed according to processing classification.
Half of foods founded were breast milk substitutes and cereal foods (31·6 and 26·3 %, respectively). The foods were predominantly ultra-processed (79 %) and only 4·2 % were minimally processed, with similar proportions of ultra-processed foods being found in both high- and low-income areas. After excluding breast milk substitutes and follow-up formulas, all cereals, food supplements and some of the fruit or vegetable purees were ultra-processed, higher in energy density, fat, carbohydrate and protein and low in fibre (P < 0·05).
The findings reveal that ultra-processed foods for infants are widely available in Brazil, reaffirming the need to strengthen the regulation of foods for infants and young children by introducing complementary measures designed to promote the production and marketing of foods manufactured using lower levels of processing.
Lack of knowledge about iodine has been suggested as a risk factor for iodine deficiency in pregnant women, but no studies have addressed this issue in Portugal. So, the aim of this study was to investigate iodine knowledge among Portuguese pregnant women and its association with iodine status. IoMum, a prospective observational study, included 485 pregnant women recruited at Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de S. João, Porto, between the 10th and 13th gestational weeks. Partial scores for knowledge on iodine importance, on iodine food sources or on iodised salt were obtained through the application of a structured questionnaire. Then, a total iodine knowledge score was calculated and grouped into low, medium and high knowledge categories. Urinary iodine concentration (UIC) was measured in spot urine samples by inductively coupled plasma MS. Of the pregnant women, 54 % correctly recognised iodine as important to neurocognitive development, 32 % were unable to identify any iodine-rich food and 71 % presented lack of knowledge regarding iodised salt. Of the women, 61 % had a medium total score of iodine knowledge. Knowledge on iodine importance during pregnancy was positively associated with iodine supplementation and also with UIC. Nevertheless, median UIC in women who correctly recognised the importance of iodine was below the cut-off for adequacy in pregnancy (150 µg/l). In conclusion, knowledge on iodine importance is positively associated with iodine status. Despite this, recognising iodine importance during pregnancy may not be sufficient to ensure iodine adequacy. Literacy-promoting actions are urgently needed to improve iodine status in pregnancy.
The role of milk and dairy products in supplying iodine to pregnant women is unknown in Portugal. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between milk and dairy product consumption and the iodine status of pregnant women in the IoMum cohort of the Oporto region. Pregnant women were recruited between 10 and 13 weeks of gestation, when they provided a spot urine sample and information on lifestyle and intake of iodine-rich foods. Urinary iodine concentration (UIC) was determined by inductively coupled plasma MS. A total of 468 pregnant women (269 iodine supplement users and 199 non-supplement users) were considered eligible for analysis. Milk (but not yogurt or cheese) intake was positively associated with UIC, in the whole population (P = 0·02) and in the non-supplement users (P = 0·002), but not in the supplement users (P = 0·29). In non-supplement users, adjusted multinomial logistic regression analysis showed that milk consumption <3 times/month was associated with a five times increased risk of having UIC < 50 µg/l when compared with milk consumption ≥2 times/d (OR 5·4; 95 % CI 1·55, 18·78; P = 0·008). The highest UIC was observed in supplement users who reported consuming milk once per d (160 µg/l). Milk, but not yogurt or cheese, was positively associated with iodine status of pregnant women. Despite the observed positive association, daily milk consumption may not be sufficient to ensure adequate iodine intake in this population.
Either tobacco smoking or alcohol consumption during pregnancy sex-selectively increases susceptibility to drugs of abuse later in life. Considering that pregnant smoking women are frequently intermittent consumers of alcoholic beverages, here, we investigated whether a short-term ethanol exposure restricted to the brain growth spurt period when combined with chronic developmental exposure to tobacco smoke aggravates susceptibility to nicotine in adolescent and adult mice. Swiss male and female mice were exposed to tobacco smoke (SMK; research cigarettes 3R4F, whole-body exposure, 8 h/daily) or ambient air during the gestational period and until the tenth postnatal day (PN). Ethanol (ETOH, 2 g/Kg, 25%, i.p.) or saline was injected in the pups every other day from PN2 to PN10. There were no significant differences in cotinine (nicotine metabolite) and ethanol serum levels among SMK, ETOH and SMK + ETOH groups. During adolescence (PN30) and adulthood (PN90), nicotine (NIC, 0.5 mg/Kg) susceptibility was evaluated in the conditioned place preference and open field tests. NIC impact was more evident in females: SMK, ETOH and SMK + ETOH adolescent females were equally more susceptible to nicotine-induced place preference than control animals. At adulthood, SMK and SMK + ETOH adult females exhibited a nicotine-evoked hyperlocomotor profile in the open field, with a stronger effect in the SMK + ETOH group. Our results indicate that ethanol exposure during the brain growth spurt, when combined to developmental exposure to tobacco smoke, increases nicotine susceptibility with stronger effects in adult females. This result represents a worsened outcome from the early developmental dual exposure and may predispose nicotine use/abuse later in life.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
With respect to De Dreu and Gross's article, we comment on the psychological functions for attack and defense, focusing on associations between individual differences in psychopathic personality traits and the behavioral patterns observed in attack-defense conflicts. We highlight the dimensional nature of psychopathy and formulate hypothetical associations between distinct traits, their different behavioral outcomes, and associated brain mechanisms.
Macrophytes provide a habitat for many species of marine invertebrates, the gastropods being one of the main components. This study provides new information about Sargassum-associated gastropod biodiversity, through characterization of the fauna from a highly impacted area of Brazil, investigating its variation at a small spatial scale and between two main seasons of the year, as well as its relationship with macroalgae parameters. Density of gastropods was higher during the warmest season and varied throughout sampling sites. A significant and positive, however weak, relationship between gastropod density and Sargassum dry weight was found in all localities. For all sites, a marked and unusual dominance of Bittiolum varium was observed. The high dominance of this species seems to be related to the impacts caused by shipping activities and highway construction in the 1970s and 1980s, which caused a decline in local species diversity that seems to have continued until now. Many species, both typical of these habitats and characteristic of other, nearby habitats, benefit from Sargassum sp. These macrophytes allow gastropods to establish and grow during their most vulnerable stages, as shown by the growth series and juvenile forms found for most species of gastropods. The present data highlight the importance of macrophyte habitats for gastropod biodiversity in coastal areas and call attention to the importance of raising knowledge on this fauna, especially in impacted areas, thus contributing to the conservation of these highly diverse and ecologically important macrophyte–gastropod systems.