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Thursday, 12 April 2012

Surfing the net for Public health stories

On April 11th, a surge in visits to this site occurred with nearly 100 hits in a day.  Notable is the surge appears to be coming from our US friends and the interest in the site and comments are welcomed. This blog is predominately focused on Canadian public health issues, however our countries are inseparably entwined and public health issues know no boundaries.

Lots in the in-box worth discussing – with a focus on a determinants of health and inequities.

Socioeconomic status:  Screening for poverty – another contribution from the folks at St. Mike’s in Toronto speaking about the need for screening for poverty in family practice. It seems to have initiative a series of articles in the blogosphere as well.   Relatively high level discussion about how poverty contributes to poor health.  Lacking is any tool for undertaking screening that would make it easy for health care providers to incorporate into their health assessments.  Healthy Debate - screening for poverty  and Kevinmd blog in response

Literacy and health – a topic for blogging unto itself.  This nifty BMJ article better documents risks of health literacy as it relates to mortality.   Lower health literacy, higher risk.  Just as importantly, in the random sample of seniors from the UK survey on ageing.  The hidden gem in the data that isn’t mentioned is Table 1 is the very neat nice gradient of how literacy levels are better in younger populations, with over 75% of the 50-59 age group in the high literacy bracket.   BMJ article on low literacy .   Well worth the read for those that are advocating for more literacy instruction. You might also want to read the criticism incorporated into Dr. Schreker’s blog mentioned below. 

Personal health practices:  As evidence mounts on the health benefits of exercise that exceed the reductions in disease risk factors, the race is on as to what form of exercise has the best benefit.   An entry in the cycling category confirms the intuitive about cardiovascular diseases.  The study does not seem to lay to rest concern about the injury risks of cycling Cycling as a health intervention   .  Walkers, swimmers and those with your favourite exercise need their own evidence reviews.

On the flip of exercise was a nice piece on foods that have more sugar than a Twinkie.  You will likely be surprised even though you no doubt someone who thinks they are health conscience  Huffington Post high sugar foods  (see the nifty formula on estimating sugar content of yoghurt submitted in the comments)

To close – two blogs on social inequities – another from the St. mike’s site http://healthydebate.ca/ the blog at Healthy equity missing in action   and a more optimistic view from Ottawa’s Dr Ted Schreker who speaks to igniting a social movement about inequities based on evidence A social movement based on evidence 

Happy surfing.   

1 comment:

  1. Cathy Richards, Registered Dietitian12 April 2012 at 11:55

    Am very glad the Huffington laid bare the amount of added sugar in "non-bare" yogurt. This has been a pet-peeve of mine for years. To figure out the added sugars in yogurt look at 2 things: the total carbohydrates, and the % DV of calcium. For every 10% DV of calcium in a milk product, there are 4 g of naturally occurring lactose. If your 175 mL yogurt has 20% DV calcium and 26 g of total carb, then 26 g minus 8 g lactose equals 18 g of added sugar. That's 4.5 tsp of sugar. Don't be fooled into thinking that comes from fruit. Most flavoured yogurts contain less than a teaspoon of real fruit. Buy plain yogurt, and add your own fruit -- super easy to do with all the frozen chopped/whole fruit you can buy now.