Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München study: Predicting your personality from your smartphone data

1 Aug

A 2013 MIT Paper theorized that personality type could be predicted using cell phone data:

Predicting Personality Using Novel Mobile Phone-Based Metrics

Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye1,, Jordi Quoidbach2,∗, Florent Robic3,∗, and Alex (Sandy) Pentland1 1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology – The Media Laboratory, Cambridge, MA 2 Harvard University – Department of Psychology, Cambridge, MA 3 Ecole Normale Sup´erieure de Lyon, Lyon, France

Abstract. The present study provides the first evidence that personality can be reliably predicted from standard mobile phone logs. Using a set of novel psychology-informed indicators that can be computed from data available to all carriers, we were able to predict users’ personality with a mean accuracy across traits of 42% better than random, reaching up to 61% accuracy on a three-class problem. Given the fast growing number of mobile phone subscription and availability of phone logs to researchers, our new personality indicators open the door to exciting avenues for future research in social sciences. They potentially enable costeffective, questionnaire-free investigation of personality-related questions at a scale never seen before.

1 Introduction How much can one know about your personality just by looking at the way you use your phone? Determining the personality of a mobile phone user simply through standard carriers’ log has became a topic of tremendous interest. Mobile cellular subscriptions have hit 6 billion throughout the world [1] and carriers have increasingly made available phone logs to researchers [2] as well as to their commercial partners [3]. If predicted correctly, mobile phones datasets could thus provide a valuable unobtrusive and cost-effective alternative to surveybased measures of personality. For example, marketing and phone companies might seek to access dispositional information about their customers to design customized offers and advertisements [4]. Appraising users dispositions through automatically collected data could also benefit the field of human-computer interface where personality has become an important factor [5]. Finally, finding ways to extract personality and, more broadly, psycho-social variables from country scale datasets might lead to unprecedented discoveries in social sciences….                         http://web.media.mit.edu/~yva/papers/deMontjoye2013predicting.pdf

Resources:

What Your Phone Type Says About Your Personality                                                                        https://www.realsimple.com/health/mind-mood/smartphone-personality-differences

Mobile phone use and stress, sleep disturbances, and symptoms of depression among young adults – a prospective cohort study                                                                               https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3042390/

The Stress of Constantly Checking Your Phone                                                                                 https://www.verywellmind.com/constantly-checking-your-phone-4137954

Science Daily reported in Predicting your personality from your smartphone data

Everyone who uses a smartphone unavoidably generates masses of digital data that are accessible to others, and these data provide clues to the user’s personality. Psychologists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich (LMU) are studying how revealing these clues are.

For most people around the world, smartphones have become an integral and indispensable component of their daily lives. The digital data that these devices incessantly collect are a veritable goldmine — not only for the five largest American IT companies, who make use of them for advertising purposes. They are also of considerable interest in other contexts. For instance, computational social scientists utilize smartphone data in order to learn more about personality traits and social behavior. In a study that appears in the journal PNAS, a team of researchers led by LMU psychologist Markus Bühner set out to determine whether conventional data passively collected by smartphones (such as times or frequencies of use) provide insights into users’ personalities. The answer was clear cut. “Yes, automated analysis of these data does allow us to draw conclusions about the personalities of users, at least for most of the major dimensions of personality,” says Clemens Stachl, who used to work with Markus Bühner (Chair of Psychological Methodologies and Diagnostics at LMU) and is now a researcher at Stanford University in California.

The LMU team recruited 624 volunteers for their PhoneStudy project. The participants agreed to fill out an extensive questionnaire describing their personality traits, and to install an app that had been developed specially for the study on their phones for 30 days. The app was designed to collect coded information relating to the behavior of the user. The researchers were primarily interested in data pertaining to communication patterns, social behavior and mobility, together with users’ choice and consumption of music, the selection of apps used, and the temporal distribution of their phone usage over the course of the day. All the data on personality and smartphone use were then analyzed with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, which were trained to recognize and extract patterns from the behavioral data, and relate these patterns to the information obtained from the personality surveys. The ability of the algorithms to predict the personality traits of the users was then cross-validated on the basis of a new dataset. “By far the most difficult part of the project was the pre-processing of the huge amount of data collected and the training of the predictive algorithms,” says Stachl. “In fact, in order to perform the necessary calculations, we had to resort to the cluster of high-performance computers at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre in Garching (LRZ).”

The researchers focused on the five most significant personality dimensions (the Big Five) identified by psychologists, which enable them to characterize personality differences between individuals in a comprehensive way. These dimensions relate to the self-assessed contribution of each of the following traits to a given individual’s personality: (1) openness (willingness to adopt new ideas, experiences and values), (2) conscientiousness (dependability, punctuality, ambitiousness and discipline), (3) extraversion (sociability, assertiveness, adventurousness, dynamism and friendliness), (4) agreeableness (willingness to trust others, good natured, outgoing, obliging, helpful) and (5) emotional stability (self-confidence, equanimity, positivity, self-control). The automated analysis revealed that the algorithm was indeed able to successfully derive most of these personality traits from combinations of the multifarious elements of their smartphone usage. Moreover, the results provide hints as to which types of digital behavior are most informative for specific self-assessments of personality. For example, data pertaining to communication patterns and social behavior (as reflected by smartphone use) correlated strongly with levels of self-reported extraversion, while information relating to patterns of day and night-time activity was significantly predictive of self-reported degrees of conscientiousness. Notably, links with the category ‘openness’ only became apparent when highly disparate types of data (e.g., app usage) were combined.

The results of the study are of great value to researchers, as studies have so far been almost exclusively based on self-assessments. The conventional method has proven to be sufficiently reliable in predicting levels of professional success, for instance…..                                                                                                                            https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200717120152.htm

Citation:

Date:                July 17, 2020
Source:            Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Summary:
Everyone who uses a smartphone unavoidably generates masses of digital data that are accessible to others, and these data provide clues to the user’s personality. Psychologists are now studying how revealing these clues are.

Journal Reference:

Clemens Stachl, Quay Au, Ramona Schoedel, Samuel D. Gosling, Gabriella M. Harari, Daniel Buschek, Sarah Theres Völkel, Tobias Schuwerk, Michelle Oldemeier, Theresa Ullmann, Heinrich Hussmann, Bernd Bischl, and Markus Bühner. Predicting personality from patterns of behavior collected with smartphonesPNAS, 2020 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1920484117

Here is the press release from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München:

The most personal device

Munich, July 15th, 2020

Anyone who uses a smartphone leaves digital traces – in abundance. Such app data make it possible to draw conclusions about the personality of the user. LMU psychologists are researching their significance.

For many people, smartphones have long been personal companions in their daily lives. The digital traces that their owners leave around the clock are not only in great demand for the large American IT companies, for example for advertising purposes. They can also throw something off scientifically: social scientists, for example, use the data to find out more about people’s personality and social behavior. In a recent study published in the PNAS magazine, a team led by LMU psychologist Markus Bühner checkedthe question of whether there are already indications of the personality of the user from common behavior data of smartphones such as usage times or frequencies. The answer was clear: “Yes, we can automatically draw conclusions about the personality of the user, at least for most personality dimensions,” says Clemens Stachl, former member of the chair of Markus Bühner (psychological methodology and diagnostics) and now a researcher at Stanford University, USA.

As part of the PhoneStudy project, the LMU researchers asked a total of 624 volunteers to fill out an extensive personal questionnaire and to install the PhoneStudy research app developed at the LMU on their smartphones for 30 days. The app sent encrypted information about the behavior of the test participants to the server. The researchers primarily evaluated data on areas such as communication and social behavior, music consumption, app usage, mobility, general telephone activity and day and night activity. The scientists then fed both the data from the personality questionnaire and the behavior data from the smartphone into a machine learning algorithm. This algorithm, was then trained to recognize patterns in the behavioral data and then to associate them with higher or lower values ​​in the personality questionnaire. The algorithm’s ability to predict personality was then cross-validated using new data. “The most difficult part was the preprocessing of the enormous amount of data and the” training “of the algorithms,” says Stachl. “To do this, we had to access the LRZ high-performance computing cluster in Garching to make these calculations possible at all.” “The most difficult part was the preprocessing of the enormous amount of data and the” training “of the algorithms,” says Stachl. “To do this, we had to access the LRZ high-performance computing cluster in Garching to make these calculations possible at all.” “The most difficult part was the preprocessing of the enormous amount of data and the” training “of the algorithms,” says Stachl. “To do this, we had to access the LRZ high-performance computing cluster in Garching to make these calculations possible at all.”

The researchers focused on the five most important personality traits in psychology, the so-called Big Five. These five dimensions describe differences in human personality in a very global way. They include openness (how open a person describes new ideas, experiences and values), conscientiousness (how reliable, punctual, ambitious, and organized I assess myself), extraversion (gives hints on how sociable, assertive, adventurous, cheerful) someone describes), tolerance (how pleasant, accommodating, supportive and helpful a person is) and emotional stability (how confident, self-dominant and carefree a person assesses himself). The algorithm was able to automatically draw conclusions about most of the users’ personality traits from the combination of the behavioral data. The results also indicated which digital behaviors are informative for certain self-assessments of the personality. The communication and social behavior on the smartphone gave important clues as to how extravagant someone thinks, information about the day-night rhythm of users was particularly meaningful with regard to self-assessed conscientiousness. Openness could only be predicted through a variety of very different behavioral data. Which digital behaviors are informative for certain self-assessments of the personality. The communication and social behavior on the smartphone gave important clues as to how extravagant someone thinks, information about the day-night rhythm of users was particularly meaningful with regard to self-assessed conscientiousness. Openness could only be predicted through a variety of very different behavioral data. Which digital behaviors are informative for certain self-assessments of the personality. The communication and social behavior on the smartphone gave important clues as to how extravagant someone thinks, information about the day-night rhythm of users was particularly meaningful with regard to self-assessed conscientiousness. Openness could only be predicted through a variety of very different behavioral data.

The results are of great value to researchers, above all because personality diagnosis in psychology has so far been based almost exclusively on self-descriptions. These are useful for predicting professional success, for example. “Nevertheless, at the same time we know very little about how people actually behave in everyday life – apart from what they want to tell us in the questionnaire.” says Markus Bühner. “Smartphones are ubiquitous, widespread and have enormous technical capabilities, making them ideal research tools to see whether the self-descriptions also correspond to real behavior.”

Stachl is well aware that his research could also arouse desires in large IT companies. In addition to data protection and privacy protection, one has to work on taking a holistic view of the topic of artificial intelligence, says Stachl. “The focus of research must be on people, not machines. We must not use machine learning methods without thinking about it. ”The potential of possible applications is enormous, both in science and in business. “The possibilities of a data-driven society today can undoubtedly improve life for many people, but we also have to ensure that all participants in society can benefit from these developments.”
https://www.uni-muenchen.de/forschung/news/2020/stachl_smartphones.html

Technology Safety suggested 12 Tips on Cell Phone Safety and Privacy:

As cell phones become smarter, they’re more like mini computers that contain lots of personal information about us. Here are 12 easy steps to take to manage your privacy and safety when using your cell phone.

  1. Put a passcode on your phone.

The easiest thing for you to do is to put a passcode on your phone. Having a passcode will make it harder for someone to pick up your phone to scroll through, access your accounts, or install something malicious. In the event that your phone gets stolen or you lose it, it’ll make it a bit harder for others to get into your phone. Most phones just ask for a 4-digit passcode, but some phones will allow you to use a more complex passcode.

  1. Turn off location sharing.

Most phones have a GPS that can pinpoint your general or exact location. With this capability, many applications may collect and share your location information. However, many smartphones give you the option of managing your location sharing under the “settings.” You can pick and choose which applications may access your location or you can opt to turn off the location setting altogether.  Minimizing the location access can also help increase the battery life on your phone. If your phone doesn’t offer specific location-sharing settings, choose carefully when downloading new apps so you’re not sharing your location unknowingly.

  1. Turn off Bluetooth when not using.

Bluetooth allows your phone to communicate with other devices, such as the hands-free option in your car or your printer. If accessed by someone else though, they could misuse it to access your information or intercept your calls. Turn off the Bluetooth on your phone and turn it on only when you need to connect with other device. Many phones also allow users to set passcodes or additional security levels on their Bluetooth as well. Use all available options to increase your privacy.

  1. Check your privacy & security settings.

Most smartphones have settings that will help you manage your privacy and safety. You can find these controls through the settings on your phone or through the settings of a specific app. These settings may allow you to limit an application’s access to the data on your phone, including access to your location, pictures, contacts, notes, etc. You may even be able to block cookies and limit what data your mobile browser collects.

  1. What online accounts are you automatically logged into?

One of the convenient features of having a smartphone is to quickly access email or social media accounts with just a tap of a finger. However, this also means that you are always connected to accounts that may contain sensitive information. Consider logging out of certain accounts if you can so that others can’t access those accounts if they are using your phone. Keep in mind that depending on the type of phone you have, you might not be able to log out of some accounts, such as email accounts, but may have to remove the entire account from your phone. In this case, make your decision based on your own privacy and safety risk. While it may be inconvenient to access the account through the browser instead, it may be safer.

  1. Review the apps you download.

Know the apps that are on your phone, and if you have an unfamiliar app, delete it. Apps are easy to download and easy to forget, but depending on the app, it could be accessing private information or could be a monitoring program that someone surreptitiously installed.

  1. Put a password on your wireless carrier account to keep others from accessing your account.

If you’re worried that someone might be contacting your wireless carrier to obtain information about you and your account, you can ask your wireless carrier to put additional security on your account, such as a password. Only someone with this password will be allowed to make changes to your account.

  1. Lock down your online phone account.

Keep in mind that even if someone doesn’t have access to your phone, it might be possible for them to access your online account. Online accounts can include your wireless carrier account, call logs, your email or social media accounts, your Google Play/Apple AppStore, or iCloud account. Update the passwords and security questions for those accounts to ensure someone else can’t get access.

  1. Use virtual phone numbers (such as Google Voice) to keep your number private.

To further maximize your privacy, consider using a virtual number, such as Google Voice or a throw away number, so you don’t have to give out your actual phone number. A virtual phone number will also allow you to screen calls and make calls/send texts from the virtual number.

  1. Try not to store sensitive information on your phone.

Finally, although it may be tempting to store information such as passwords, account numbers, or personal information on your phone, the less sensitive information you have, the less likely someone else can access it. You might even want to consider deleting sensitive text messages or voicemails so they’re not stored on your phone.

  1. Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your phone.

After years of warnings, we are fairly used to ensuring we have anti-spyware, anti-malware, and anti-virus programs on our computers. This software should also be used on our smartphones as well. Search for programs in the app stores and discuss them with your wireless provider. Some phones come with built-in software that you won’t want to override.

  1. Take care when using safety apps.

There are many “personal safety apps” available for download that offer to increase the users’ personal safety – immediately connecting them with 911 or select trusted individuals. Several of these apps are designed and marketed specifically to survivors of violence. Before relying on any safety app in an emergency, be sure to test it out with friends and family to be sure that it works correctly for you. Your trusted friend may not receive your location with your emergency call or may not receive your call for help at all. Always know the quickest way to access 911 on your phone in case of an emergency. Many phones have a quick emergency call button that you can even dial without entering the phone’s passcode.                                                                                   https://www.techsafety.org/12tipscellphones

Resources:

CELL PHONE PRIVACY                                                                                                                aclu.org/issues/privacy-technology/location-tracking/cell-phone-privacy

Smartphone Privacy

Posted: Aug 01 2005  | Revised: Dec 19 2017                                                                                                                 https://privacyrights.org/consumer-guides/smartphone-privacy

Protecting Your Privacy: Phone and Cable Records                                                                          https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/protecting-your-privacy

Personal Cellphone Privacy at Work                                                                                               https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/hr-topics/technology/Pages/Personal-Cellphone-Privacy-at-Work.aspx

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

 

 

 

 

American Education Research Association study: More than half of US students experience summer learning losses five years in a row

31 Jul

In Location, location, location: Brookings study of education disparity based upon neighborhood https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/location-location-location-brookings-study-of-education-disparity-based-upon-neighborhood/ moi said:

The increased rate of poverty has profound implications if this society believes that ALL children have the right to a good basic education. Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Because children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of societies’ problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family. There is a lot of economic stress in the country now because of unemployment and underemployment. Children feel the stress of their parents and they worry about how stable their family and living situation is. Sabrina Tavernise wrote an excellent New York Times article, Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor, Studies Say http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/education/education-gap-grows-between-rich-and-poor-studies-show.html?emc=eta1

Hisao Kodachi, Nikkei staff writer wrote in COVID-19 worsens education inequality between rich and poor: Online learning widespread in high-income nations but not in developing ones:

TOKYO — Schools in more than 100 countries and regions remain completely closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, widening the education gap between advanced economies and middle- and low-income nations unable to provide online learning.

In June, most of the schools in Uruguay reopened, as they did in Japan, with children in Australia and Vietnam also getting back to the physical classroom.

However, these countries represent the minority. According to UNESCO, only 49, or 23%, of 210 countries or regions were able to completely reopen pre-elementary to high school education as of July 18. Fifty-four countries and regions, including the U.S., U.K., Germany and China, have partially reopened schools.

But in 51% of countries and regions, schools are still completely closed. Roughly 1.07 billion children live in these areas, accounting for more than 60% of the children in the world.

Lingering school closures are particularly common in Asian, African and South American developing countries. When the countries and regions are categorized by income levels, about 90% of low- and lower-middle income locations are still not able to reopen schools nationwide, due to COVID-19.

The closure of schools affects education in a negative way. A study by researchers from institutions such as Brown University estimates that for the academic year starting this fall, U.S. elementary school students will only achieve 37% to 50% of the math proficiency that they should have.

According to research carried out by professor Harris Cooper at Duke University and others, children from low-income families experienced a reduction in math test scores over summer vacation, even before the pandemic. School closures have continued for more than four months in some countries — far longer than summer breaks — and this long absence will certainly have a negative effect on education levels.

The World Bank estimates that absent effective policy from governments, school closures lasting five months will lower the lifetime earnings of these children by a total of $10 trillion.

School closures have also highlighted the issue of inequality, especially in emerging economies.

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte in May laid out his priorities in keeping the country safe. “For me, vaccine first. If the vaccine is already there, then it’s OK,” he said, insisting that until there is a vaccine available, schools cannot be reopened.

However, if school closures continue, according to nongovernmental organization Save the Children, 10 million children in the developing world will not be able to go back to school. This will have significant effects on such issues as child labor and child marriage, because, as the pandemic and related economic fallout continue, there will be more incentive to work and earn rather than to learn.

Another area where inequality has been shown up starkly is online education.

Nikkei compared UNESCO data on where schools have reopened with a study on online education opportunities by the Center for Global Development, a U.S. think tank. The analysis shows that 91% of high-income countries had some sort of online classes taking place as an alternative to in-school learning. In low-income countries, this was a mere 54%….

Inequality in education influences the competitiveness of the country decades later. While countries are striving to strike the balance of preventing new infections and reopening the economy, education for the future must also be considered.                                                      asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Datawatch/COVID-19-worsens-education-inequality-between-rich-and-poor

Science Daily reported the American Education Research Association (AREA) study, More than half of US students experience summer learning losses five years in a row: These students on average lose nearly 40 percent of their school year gains:

Following U.S. students across five summers between grades 1 and 6, a little more than half (52 percent) experienced learning losses in all five summers, according to a large national study published today. Students in this group lost an average of 39 percent of their total school year gains during each summer. The study appeared in American Educational Research Journal, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Educational Research Association.

“Many children in the U.S. have not physically attended a school since early March because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and some have likened the period we’re in now to an unusually long summer,” said study author Allison Atteberry, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado — Boulder. “Because our results highlight that achievement disparities disproportionately widen during the summer, this is deeply concerning.”

“Teachers nationwide are likely wondering how different their classes will be in the coming fall,” Atteberry said. “To the extent that student learning loss plays a larger-than-usual role this year, we would anticipate that teachers will encounter even greater variability in students’ jumping-off points when they return in fall 2020.”

For the study Atteberry and her co-author, Andrew J. McEachin, a researcher at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, used a database from NWEA, which includes more than 200 million test scores for nearly 18 million students in 7,500 school districts across all 50 states from 2008 through 2016.

The authors found that although some students learn more than others during the school year, most are moving in the same direction — that is, making learning gains — while school is in session. The same cannot be said for summers, when more than half of students exhibit learning losses year after year.

Twice as many students exhibit five years of consecutive summer losses — as opposed to no change or gains — as one would expect by chance, according to the authors.

The pattern is so strong that even if all differences in learning rates between students during the school year could be entirely eliminated, students would still end up with very different achievement rates due to the summer period alone.

“Our results highlight that achievement disparities disproportionately widen during summer periods, and presumably the ‘longer summer’ brought on by Covid-19 would allow this to happen to an even greater extent,” said Atteberry. “Summer learning loss is just one example of how the current crisis will likely exacerbate outcome inequality.”

Among the students studied, depending on grade, the average student loses between 17 and 28 percent of school-year gains in English language arts during the following summer. In math, the average student loses between 25 and 34 percent of each school-year gain during the following summer.

However Atteberry and McEachin focus their attention not on average patterns of summer learning loss, but rather on the dramatic variability around those means from one student to another.

“For instance in grade 2 math, at the high end of the distribution, students accrue an additional 32 percent of their school-year gains during the following summer,” said Atteberry. “At the other end of the distribution, however, students can lose nearly 90 percent of what they have gained in the preceding school year.”

“This remarkable variability in summer learning rates appears to be an important contributor to widening achievement disparities during the school-age years,” Atteberry said. “Because summer losses tend to accumulate for the same students over time, consecutive losses add up to a sizeable impact on where students end up in the achievement distribution.”

Atteberry noted that more research is needed to better understand what accounts for most of the summer variation across students. Prior research, including a 2018 study published in Sociology of Education, has found that race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status predict summer learning but, together, account for only up to 4 percent of the variance in summer learning rates….                                                                                                 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200709135545.htm

Citation:

Study: More than half of US students experience summer learning losses five years in a row

These students on average lose nearly 40 percent of their school year gains

Date:      July 9, 2020

Source:  American Educational Research Association

Summary:

Following U.S. students across five summers between grades 1 and 6, a little more than half (52 percent) experienced learning losses in all five summers, according to a large national study. Students in this group lost an average of 39 percent of their total school year gains during each summer.

Journal Reference:

Allison Atteberry, Andrew McEachin. School’s Out: The Role of Summers in Understanding Achievement DisparitiesAmerican Educational Research Journal, 2020; 000283122093728 DOI: 10.3102/0002831220937285

Here is the press release from AREA:

Study: More than Half of U.S. Students Experience Summer Learning Losses Five Years in a Row

 

 
 

For Immediate Release: July 9, 2020

Contact:
Tony Pals, tpals@aera.net
(202) 238-3235

Tong Wu, twu@aera.net
(202) 238-3233

Study: More than Half of U.S. Students Experience Summer Learning Losses Five Years in a Row

These Students on Average Lose Nearly 40 Percent of Their School Year Gains

Washington, July 9, 2020—Following U.S. students across five summers between grades 1 and 6, a little more than half (52 percent) experienced learning losses in all five summers, according to a large national study published today. Students in this group lost an average of 39 percent of their total school year gains during each summer. The study appeared in American Educational Research Journal, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Educational Research Association.

“Many children in the U.S. have not physically attended a school since early March because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and some have likened the period we’re in now to an unusually long summer,” said study author Allison Atteberry, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado—Boulder. “Because our results highlight that achievement disparities disproportionately widen during the summer, this is deeply concerning.”

“Teachers nationwide are likely wondering how different their classes will be in the coming fall,” Atteberry said. “To the extent that student learning loss plays a larger-than-usual role this year, we would anticipate that teachers will encounter even greater variability in students’ jumping-off points when they return in fall 2020.”

For the study Atteberry and her co-author, Andrew J. McEachin, a researcher at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, used a database from NWEA, which includes more than 200 million test scores for nearly 18 million students in 7,500 school districts across all 50 states from 2008 through 2016.

The authors found that although some students learn more than others during the school year, most are moving in the same direction­­—that is, making learning gains—while school is in session. The same cannot be said for summers, when more than half of students exhibit learning losses year after year.

Twice as many students exhibit five years of consecutive summer losses—as opposed to no change or gains—as one would expect by chance, according to the authors.

The pattern is so strong that even if all differences in learning rates between students during the school year could be entirely eliminated, students would still end up with very different achievement rates due to the summer period alone.

“Our results highlight that achievement disparities disproportionately widen during summer periods, and presumably the ‘longer summer’ brought on by Covid-19 would allow this to happen to an even greater extent,” said Atteberry. “Summer learning loss is just one example of how the current crisis will likely exacerbate outcome inequality.”

Among the students studied, depending on grade, the average student loses between 17 and 28 percent of school-year gains in English language arts during the following summer. In math, the average student loses between 25 and 34 percent of each school-year gain during the following summer.

However Atteberry and McEachin focus their attention not on average patterns of summer learning loss, but rather on the dramatic variability around those means from one student to another.

“For instance in grade 2 math, at the high end of the distribution, students accrue an additional 32 percent of their school-year gains during the following summer,” said Atteberry. “At the other end of the distribution, however, students can lose nearly 90 percent of what they have gained in the preceding school year.”

“This remarkable variability in summer learning rates appears to be an important contributor to widening achievement disparities during the school-age years,” Atteberry said. “Because summer losses tend to accumulate for the same students over time, consecutive losses add up to a sizeable impact on where students end up in the achievement distribution.”

Atteberry noted that more research is needed to better understand what accounts for most of the summer variation across students. Prior research, including a 2018 study published in Sociology of Education, has found that race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status predict summer learning but, together, account for only up to 4 percent of the variance in summer learning rates.

Policy leaders across the United States have experimented with different approaches, including extending the school year and running summer bridge programs, to address concerns with summer learning losses. These need to be further assessed for effectiveness, said Atteberry.

Researchers have pointed to gaps in resources such as family income, parental time availability, and parenting skill and expectations as potential drivers of outcome inequality. Many of these resource differences are likely exacerbated by summer break when, for some families, work schedules come into greater conflict with reduced childcare.

“Our results suggest that we should look beyond just schooling solutions to address out-of-school learning disparities,” Atteberry said. “Many social policies other than public education touch on these crucial resource inequalities and thus could help reduce summer learning disparities.”

This study was supported by funding from the Kingsbury Center at the NWEA, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Institute of Education Sciences.

###

About AERA
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Find AERA on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

In The next great civil rights struggle: Disparity in education funding moi said:

If one believes that all children, regardless of that child’s status have a right to a good basic education and that society must fund and implement policies, which support this principle. Then, one must discuss the issue of equity in education. Because of the segregation, which resulted after Plessy, most folks focus their analysis of Brown almost solely on race. The issue of equity was just as important. The equity issue was explained in terms of unequal resources and unequal access to education.

People tend to cluster in neighborhoods based upon class as much as race. Good teachers tend to gravitate toward neighborhoods where they are paid well and students come from families who mirror their personal backgrounds and values. Good teachers make a difference in a child’s life. One of the difficulties in busing to achieve equity in education is that neighborhoods tend to be segregated by class as well as race. People often make sacrifices to move into neighborhoods they perceive mirror their values. That is why there must be good schools in all segments of the city and there must be good schools in all parts of this state. A good education should not depend upon one’s class or status.

I know that the lawyers in Brown were told that lawsuits were futile and that the legislatures would address the issue of segregation eventually when the public was ready. Meanwhile, several generations of African Americans waited for people to come around and say the Constitution applied to us as well. Generations of African Americans suffered in inferior schools. This state cannot sacrifice the lives of children by not addressing the issue of equity in school funding in a timely manner.

The next huge case, like Brown, will be about equity in education funding. It may not come this year or the next year. It, like Brown, may come several years after a Plessy. It will come. Equity in education funding is the civil rights issue of this century.

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/the-next-great-civil-rights-struggle-disparity-in-education-funding/

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UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center study: Will telehealth services become the norm following COVID-19 pandemic?

30 Jul

The Mayo Clinic explained Telehealth in Telehealth: Technology meets health care: See how technology can improve your health care:

What is telehealth?

Telehealth is the use of digital information and communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to access health care services remotely and manage your health care. These may be technologies you use from home or that your doctor uses to improve or support health care services.

Consider, for example, the ways telehealth could help you if you have diabetes. You could do some or all of the following:

  • Use a mobile phone or other device to upload food logs, medications, dosing and blood sugar levels for review by a nurse who responds electronically.
  • Watch a video on carbohydrate counting and download an app for it to your phone.
  • Use an app to estimate, based on your diet and exercise level, how much insulin you need.
  • Use an online patient portal to see your test results, schedule appointments, request prescription refills or email your doctor.
  • Order testing supplies and medications online.
  • Get a mobile retinal photo screening at your doctor’s office rather than scheduling an appointment with a specialist.
  • Get email, text or phone reminders when you need a flu shot, foot exam or other preventive care.

The goals of telehealth, also called e-health or m-health (mobile health), include the following:

  • Make health care accessible to people who live in rural or isolated communities.
  • Make services more readily available or convenient for people with limited mobility, time or transportation options.
  • Provide access to medical specialists.
  • Improve communication and coordination of care among members of a health care team and a patient.
  • Provide support for self-management of health care.

The following examples of telehealth services may be beneficial for your health care.

Patient portal

Your primary care clinic may have an online patient portal. These portals offer an alternative to email, which is a generally insecure means to communicate about private medical information. A portal provides a more secure online tool to do the following:

  • Communicate with your doctor or a nurse.
  • Request prescription refills.
  • Review test results and summaries of previous visits.
  • Schedule appointments or request appointment reminders.

If your doctor is in a large health care system, the portal also may provide a single point of communication for any specialists you may see.

Virtual appointments

Some clinics may provide virtual appointments that enable you to see your doctor or a nurse via online videoconferencing. These appointments enable you to receive ongoing care from your regular doctor when an in-person visit isn’t required or possible….

Remote monitoring

A variety of technologies enable your doctor or health care team to monitor your health remotely. These technologies include:

  • Web-based or mobile apps for uploading information, such as blood glucose readings, to your doctor or health care team
  • Devices that measure and wirelessly transmit information, such as blood pressure, blood glucose or lung function
  • Wearable devices that automatically record and transmit information, such as heart rate, blood glucose, gait, posture control, tremors, physical activity or sleep patterns
  • Home monitoring devices for older people or people with dementia that detect changes in normal activities such as falls…

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/telehealth/art-20044878

Resources:

What is Telehealth?                                                                                                                https://www.aap.org/en-us/professional-resources/practice-transformation/telehealth/Pages/What-is-Telehealth.aspx

What Is Telehealth?                                                                                                             https://www.goodrx.com/blog/what-is-telehealth/

How Does Telemedicine Work?                                                                                                 https://www.webmd.com/lung/how-does-telemedicine-work#1

Science Daily reported in Will telehealth services become the norm following COVID-19 pandemic?

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has broadly affected how health care is provided in the United States. One notable change is the expanded use of telehealth services, which have been quickly adopted by many health care providers and payers, including Medicare, to ensure patients’ access to care while reducing their risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

In an article published in JAMA Oncology, Trevor Royce, MD, MS, MPH, an assistant professor of radiation oncology at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and UNC School of Medicine, said the routine use of telehealth for patients with cancer could have long-lasting and unforeseen effects on the provision and quality of care.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the rapid deregulation of telehealth services. This was done in part by lifting geographical restrictions, broadening patient, health care professional, and services eligibility,” said Royce, the article’s corresponding author. “It is likely aspects of telehealth continue to be part of the health care delivery system, beyond the pandemic.”

The article’s other authors are UNC Lineberger’s Hanna K. Sanoff, MD, MPH, clinical medical director of the North Carolina Cancer Hospital and associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Division of Hematology, and Amar Rewari, MD, MBA, from the Associates in Radiation Medicine, Adventist HealthCare Radiation Oncology Center in Rockville, Maryland.

Royce said the widespread shift to telehealth was made possible, in part, by three federal economic stimulus packages and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services making several policy changes in March that expanded Medicare recipients’ access to telehealth services.

The policy changes included allowing telehealth services to be provided in a patient’s home. Medicare previously only paid for telehealth services in a facility in nonurban areas or areas with a health professional shortage. Medicare also approved payment for new patient appointments, expanded telehealth coverage to include 80 additional services, allowed for services to be carried out on a wider assortment of telecommunication systems — including remote video communications platforms, such as Zoom — and modified the restrictions of who can provide and supervise care.

While the potential benefits of telehealth have been demonstrated during the pandemic, Royce said they must be balanced with concerns about care quality and safety….                                                                                        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200716144727.htm

 

Citation:

Will telehealth services become the norm following COVID-19 pandemic?

Date:      July 16, 2020

Source:  UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

Summary:

Experts address whether the routine use of telehealth for patients with cancer could have long-lasting and unforeseen effects on the provision and quality of care.

Journal Reference:

Trevor J. Royce, Hanna K. Sanoff, Amar Rewari. Telemedicine for Cancer Care in the Time of COVID-19JAMA Oncology, 2020; DOI: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.2684

Here is the press release from UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center:

Home / News from Lineberger / Will telehealth services become the norm following COVID-19 pandemic?

Will telehealth services become the norm following COVID-19 pandemic?

July 16, 2020

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has broadly affected how health care is provided in the United States. One notable change is the expanded use of telehealth services, which have been quickly adopted by many health care providers and payers, including Medicare, to ensure patients’ access to care while reducing their risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

In an article published in JAMA OncologyTrevor Royce, MD, MS, MPH, an assistant professor of radiation oncology at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and UNC School of Medicine, said the routine use of telehealth for patients with cancer could have long-lasting and unforeseen effects on the provision and quality of care.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the rapid deregulation of telehealth services. This was done in part by lifting geographical restrictions, broadening patient, health care professional, and services eligibility,” said Royce, the article’s corresponding author. “It is likely aspects of telehealth continue to be part of the health care delivery system, beyond the pandemic.”

The article’s other authors are UNC Lineberger’s Hanna K. Sanoff, MD, MPH, clinical medical director of the North Carolina Cancer Hospital and associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Division of Hematology, and Amar Rewari, MD, MBA, from the Associates in Radiation Medicine, Adventist HealthCare Radiation Oncology Center in Rockville, Maryland.

Royce said the widespread shift to telehealth was made possible, in part, by three federal economic stimulus packages and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services making several policy changes in March that expanded Medicare recipients’ access to telehealth services.

The policy changes included allowing telehealth services to be provided in a patient’s home. Medicare previously only paid for telehealth services in a facility in nonurban areas or areas with a health professional shortage. Medicare also approved payment for new patient appointments, expanded telehealth coverage to include 80 additional services, allowed for services to be carried out on a wider assortment of telecommunication systems – including remote video communications platforms, such as Zoom – and modified the restrictions of who can provide and supervise care.

While the potential benefits of telehealth have been demonstrated during the pandemic, Royce said they must be balanced with concerns about care quality and safety.

“There is a lot we don’t know about telehealth, and how its rapid adoption will impact our patients,” Royce said. “How will the safety and quality of care be impacted? How will we integrate essential components of the traditional doctor visit, including physical exam, lab work, scans and imaging? Will patients and doctors be more or less satisfied with their care? These are all potential downsides if we are not thoughtful with our adoption.”

He said appropriate oversight of care is critical. There will be a continued need for objective patient assessments, such as patient-reported outcomes, physical examinations and laboratory tests, and to measure care quality and monitor for fraud. There are also a number of standard measures of care quality that can be implemented during the transition to telehealth, including tracking emergency room visits, hospitalizations and adverse events.

Telehealth presents other challenges, as well. Though technology and internet access are now more widely available, they are not universally accessible. Where one lives, their socioeconomic status and comfort level with technology can be barriers to using telehealth services. A reliance on telehealth might lower participation in clinical trials, which can require regular in-person appointments.

“Telehealth can be used to improve access to care in traditionally hard-to-reach populations. However, it is important to acknowledge that if we are not thoughtful in its adoption, the opposite could be true,” Royce said. “For example, will lower socioeconomic groups have the same level of access to an adequate internet connection or cellular services that make a virtual video visit possible? Telehealth needs to be adopted with equity in mind.”

Media Contact: Bill Schaller, bill_schaller@med.unc.edu

 

Mikhail Varshavski wrote in Pros and Cons of Telemedicine & Telehealth:

Advantages of Telemedicine

  1. Higher level of flexibility
  2. Convenience
  3. Reduction of risk for infections
  4. Less waiting time
  5. Better medical support for rural areas
  6. Telehealth is more efficient
  7. Telemedicine can reduce doctor’s shortage
  8. More patients can be treated on average
  9. Information sharing between doctors
  10. Reduction in travel expenses
  11. Lower costs for minor issues
  12. Patients may be more eager to get medical advice
  13. Can give doctors a competitive advantage

 

Problems of Telehealth

  1. Privacy issues
  2. Hacking
  3. Technical problems
  4. No physical examination possible
  5. Doctor’s may have problems to adapt
  6. Excessive consultations
  7. Specific software and training may be needed
  8. Number of wrong diagnoses may increase
  9. Doctors may be sued more often
  10. Varying levels of regulations regarding telehealth
  11. May not be affordable for small doctor’s offices
  12. May not be covered by health insurance yet
  13. Job losses

 

Resources:

Telemedicine Pros and Cons                                                                                     https://healthresearchfunding.org/telemedicine-pros-cons/

What Are the Benefits and Advantages of Telemedicine?                                                    https://www.healthline.com/health/telemedicine-benefits-and-advantages#1

Clinicians see pros, cons to telehealth                                                                                        ‘We’re doing whatever we can to get the service to our folks’                                                http://www.hmenews.com/article/clinicians-see-pros-cons-telehealth

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

 

 

 

 

 

BMJ study: Dietary Guidelines are not compatible with global health and environmental targets

29 Jul

Michael Bastasch wrote in the Daily Caller article, The Green New Deal Isn’t Just About Energy, It’s Also About Controlling What Americans Eat:

  • The Green New Deal seems to embrace the anti-beef and dairy industry sentiment of the environmental left.

  • Green New Dealers want to remake American society, including how to produce and eat food. 

  • “I think it’s pretty clear they want to change people’s consumption habits,” said one economist.

The Green New Deal isn’t just a climate change manifesto targeting U.S. energy, it also looks to drastically change how food is produced and, ultimately, what Americans eat.

“I think it’s pretty clear they want to change people’s consumption habits,” Nic Loris, an energy economist at the conservative Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey introduced highly anticipated Green New Deal bills in early February, calling for “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions within 10 years through a radical transformation of America. The bills also call for a slew of new social justice and welfare programs totally unrelated to global warming.

The accompanying FAQ’s reference to eliminating “farty cows” sent ranchers into a panic, fearing Democrats were taking aim at their livelihoods. Environmentalists have targeted the beef industry for years, and concern over methane only gave activists more ammunition.

“Livestock will be banned,” Wyoming GOP Sen. John Barrasso, who represents lots of cattle ranchers, warned on the Senate floor after the Green New Deal was introduced. “Say goodbye to dairy, to beef, to family farms, to ranches.”

“Farty” was eventually deleted — in fact, most of the methane cows emit is from burping, not farting. The entire gaffe-riddled FAQ was eventually taken offline by Ocasio-Cortez’s staff amid the ridicule…

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey hold a news conference for their proposed “Green New Deal” to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. Feb. 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst.

Even so, the legislation itself is no less radical than Ocasio-Cortez’s Kinsley gaffes. The bill calls for “working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers … to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible….”                                                                        https://dailycaller.com/2019/02/16/green-new-deal-energy-diet/

Resources:

Under the ‘Green New Deal,’ we’d all have to eat like Cory Booker                                            https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/under-the-green-new-deal-wed-all-have-to-eat-like-cory-booker

The Green New Deal Progressives Really Are Coming for Your Beef                                         https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-13/the-green-new-deal-progressives-really-are-coming-for-your-beef

Why the Green New Deal Is So Vague About Food and Farming                                           https://www.motherjones.com/food/2019/02/why-the-green-new-deal-is-so-vague-about-food-and-farming/

Science Daily reported the BMJ study: Dietary Guidelines are not compatible with global health and environmental targets:

Most dietary guidelines are not compatible with global health and environmental targets, finds an analysis published by The BMJ today.

The results show that reforming national dietary guidelines to become both healthier and more sustainable could prevent deaths from chronic diseases and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

National food based dietary guidelines (FBDGs) are government endorsed documents that provide recommendations and advice on healthy diets and lifestyles, but most do not address the social and environmental implications of dietary choices.

So an international research team set out to compare the health and environmental impacts of adopting global and national food based dietary guidelines with global targets, such as the Action Agenda on Non-Communicable Diseases and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

They collated and scored measurable recommendations, such as “eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day” from 85 national guidelines along with global guidelines from the World Health Organization and the EAT-Lancet Commission.

They then used modelling to estimate how these recommendations could reduce early death from chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer, and meet environmental targets related to greenhouse gas emissions, and use of land and fresh water resources.

They found that adoption of national guidelines was associated with an average 15% reduction in early death from chronic diseases and an average 13% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the food system, equivalent to 550 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

However, most of the national guidelines analysed (83, 98%) were not compatible with at least one of the global health and environmental targets.

For example, about a third of the guidelines (29, 34%) were incompatible with the agenda on non-communicable diseases, and most (57 to 74, 67% to 87%) were incompatible with the Paris Climate Agreement and other environmental targets.

In comparison, adoption of the WHO recommendations was associated with similar health and environmental changes, whereas adoption of the EAT-Lancet recommendations was associated with 34% greater reductions in early death and more than three times greater reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

For example, if the UK, US, and China adopted national guidelines in line with the EAT-Lancet recommendation, this could increase the number of avoided deaths from 78,000 to 104,000 in the UK, from 480,000 to 585,000 in the USA, and from 1,149,000 to 1,802,000 in China, explain the researchers.

This study has several strengths, such as the large number of countries and rigorous assessment of guidelines. But the researchers point to several limitations that may have affected the accuracy of their results, such as the often qualitative nature of many national guidelines, and say there are many potential implications for improvement in future studies…..                                                                                                                                   https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200715190754.htm

Resources:

Most national dietary guidelines are not compatible with global environmental and health targets, and are in need of reform                                                                                     https://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/news/most-national-dietary-guidelines-not-compatible-with-global-environmental-and-health-targets/

Dietary guidelines have a blind spot: Future generations                                                           https://grist.org/food/dietary-guidelines-have-a-blind-spot-future-generations/

Citation:

Dietary Guidelines are not compatible with global health and environmental targets

Reforming dietary guidelines could prevent deaths and cut greenhouse emissions

Date:         July 15, 2020

Source:     BMJ

Summary:

Most dietary guidelines are not compatible with global health and environmental targets, finds a new analysis.

Journal Reference:

Marco Springmann, Luke Spajic, Michael A Clark, Joseph Poore, Anna Herforth, Patrick Webb, Mike Rayner, Peter Scarborough. The healthiness and sustainability of national and global food based dietary guidelines: modelling studyBMJ, 2020; m2322 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.m2322

Here is the press release from BMJ:

NEWS RELEASE 15-JUL-2020

Most dietary guidelines are not compatible with global health and environmental targets

Reforming dietary guidelines could prevent deaths and cut greenhouse emissions

BMJ

Most dietary guidelines are not compatible with global health and environmental targets, finds an analysis published by The BMJ today.

The results show that reforming national dietary guidelines to become both healthier and more sustainable could prevent deaths from chronic diseases and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

National food based dietary guidelines (FBDGs) are government endorsed documents that provide recommendations and advice on healthy diets and lifestyles, but most do not address the social and environmental implications of dietary choices.

So an international research team set out to compare the health and environmental impacts of adopting global and national food based dietary guidelines with global targets, such as the Action Agenda on Non-Communicable Diseases and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

They collated and scored measurable recommendations, such as “eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day” from 85 national guidelines along with global guidelines from the World Health Organization and the EAT-Lancet Commission.

They then used modelling to estimate how these recommendations could reduce early death from chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer, and meet environmental targets related to greenhouse gas emissions, and use of land and fresh water resources.

They found that adoption of national guidelines was associated with an average 15% reduction in early death from chronic diseases and an average 13% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the food system, equivalent to 550 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

However, most of the national guidelines analysed (83, 98%) were not compatible with at least one of the global health and environmental targets.

For example, about a third of the guidelines (29, 34%) were incompatible with the agenda on non-communicable diseases, and most (57 to 74, 67% to 87%) were incompatible with the Paris Climate Agreement and other environmental targets.

In comparison, adoption of the WHO recommendations was associated with similar health and environmental changes, whereas adoption of the EAT-Lancet recommendations was associated with 34% greater reductions in early death and more than three times greater reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

For example, if the UK, US, and China adopted national guidelines in line with the EAT-Lancet recommendation, this could increase the number of avoided deaths from 78,000 to 104,000 in the UK, from 480,000 to 585,000 in the USA, and from 1,149,000 to 1,802,000 in China, explain the researchers.

This study has several strengths, such as the large number of countries and rigorous assessment of guidelines. But the researchers point to several limitations that may have affected the accuracy of their results, such as the often qualitative nature of many national guidelines, and say there are many potential implications for improvement in future studies.

Nevertheless, they conclude that reforming national food based dietary guidelines, as well as WHO guidelines, “could be not only beneficial from a health perspective but also necessary for meeting global sustainability goals and staying within the environmental limits of the food system.”

In a linked editorial, researchers in Germany agree that these findings should be interpreted with caution, saying perhaps the most important finding from this study is the uncertainty that it highlights, not least about plant based foods.

In overall terms the EAT-Lancet Commission proposals seem superior in terms of reducing mortality from non-communicable diseases, they write.

However, they point out that adopting the EAT-Lancet recommendations globally “would not be affordable for many in low income countries without concomitant economic growth, improved local food production and supply, and expansion of the range of lower cost animal products, fruits, and vegetables.”

“We still have some way to go before diets can become healthier and more sustainable worldwide” they conclude.

###

Peer reviewed? Yes (research), No (linked editorial)

Evidence type: Modelling study, Opinion

Subject: Dietary guidelines

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

 

Media Contact

BMJ Media Relations
mediarelations@bmj.com
44-020-365-55021

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http://www.bmj.com 

David Harsanyi  wrote in The 10 Most Insane Requirements Of The Green New Deal:

While some of the specifics need to be ironed out, the plan’s authors assure us that this “massive transformation of our society” needs some “clear goals and a timeline.” The timeline is ten years. Here are some of the goals:

  • Ban affordable energy.GND calls for the elimination of all fossil fuel energy production, the lifeblood of American industry and life, which includes not only all oil but also natural gas — one of the cheapest sources of American energy, and one of the reasons the United States has been able to lead the world in carbon-emissions reduction.
  • Eliminate nuclear energy.The GND also calls for eliminating all nuclear power, one of the only productive and somewhat affordable “clean” energy sources available to us, in 11 years. This move would purge around 20 percent of American energy generation so you can rely on intermittent wind for your energy needs.
  • Eliminate 99 percent of cars.To be fair, under the GND, everyone will need to retrofit their cars with Flintstones-style foot holes or pedals for cycling. The authors state that the GND would like to replace every “combustion-engine vehicle” — trucks, airplanes, boats, and 99 percent of cars — within ten years. Charging stations for electric vehicles will be built “everywhere,” though how power plants will provide the energy needed to charge them is a mystery.
  • Gut and rebuild every building in America.Markey and Cortez want to “retrofit every building in America” with “state of the art energy efficiency.” I repeat, “every building in America.” That includes every home, factory, and apartment building, which will all need, for starters, to have their entire working heating and cooling systems ripped out and replaced with…well, with whatever technology Democrats are going invent in their committee hearings, I guess.
  • Eliminate air travel.GND calls for building out “highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.” Good luck Hawaii! California’s high-speed boondoggle is already in $100 billion dollars of debt, and looks to be one of the state’s biggest fiscal disasters ever. Amtrak runs billions of dollars in the red (though, as we’ll see, trains that run on fossil fuels will also be phased out). Imagine growing that business model out to every state in America?
  • A government-guaranteed job.The bill promises the United States government will provide every single American with a job that includes a “family-sustaining wage, family and medical leave, vacations, and a pension.” You can imagine that those left in the private sector would be funding these through some unspecified “massive” taxation. On the bright side, when you’re foraging for food, your savings will be worthless.
  • Free education for life.GND promises free college or trade schools for every American.
  • A salubrious diet.The GND promises the government will provide “healthy food” to every American (because there are no beans or lettuce in your local supermarket, I guess).
  • A house. The GND promises that the government will provide, “safe, affordable, adequate housing” for every American citizen. I call dibs on an affordable Adams Morgan townhouse. Thank you, Ocasio-Cortez.
  • Free money.The GND aims to provide, and I am not making this up, “economic security” for all who are “unable or unwilling” to work. Just to reiterate: if you’re unwilling to work, the rest of us will have your back.
  • Bonus insanity: Ban meat.Ocasio-Cortez admits that we can’t get zero emissions in 10 years “because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.” The only way to get rid of farting cows is to get rid of beef.

The GND uses the word “massive” to explain the size “investments” (formerly known as “taxes”) 13 times. How will we pay for this plan? “The same way we did the New Deal, the 2008 bank bailouts and extend quantitative easing,” say Markey and Cortez, who earned her degree in economics at an institution of higher learning that should be immediately decertified. The plan itself seems to insinuate that billionaires can pay for the whole thing. Of course, best case scenario, it is estimated that instituting a top marginal tax rate of 70 percent would raise a little more than $700 billion over that decade. She does not explain how we’re going to raise the other 20 bazillion dollars it will cost to tear down modernity….                                                                                                               https://thefederalist.com/2019/02/07/ten-most-insane-requirements-green-new-deal/

There’s a sucker born every minute.

 

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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Education Next: Homeschoolers more likely than public-school peers to attend community events, visit museums, and more: New analysis of Education Department data

28 Jul

Parents and others often think of school choice in terms of public school or private school. There is another option and that is homeschooling. Homeschooling is one option in the school choice menu.  What is Homeschooling?

Family Education defines homeschooling.

Homeschooling means learning outside of the public or private school environment. The word “home” is not really accurate, and neither is “school.” For most families, their “schooling” involves being out and about each day, learning from the rich resources available in their community, environment, and through interactions with other families who homeschool.
Essentially, homeschooling involves a commitment by a parent or guardian to oversees their child or teen’s educational development. There are almost two million homeschoolers in this country.

There is no one federal law, which governs homeschooling. Each state regulates homeschooling, so state law must be consulted. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has a summary of each state’s laws. State Homeschool Laws The American Homeschool Association (AHA) has resources such as FAQ and the history of homeschooling at AHA https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/homeschooling-is-becoming-more-mainstream/

See, https://drwilda.com/tag/homeschooling/

https://drwilda.com/tag/homeschool/

https://drwilda.com/tag/the-american-homeschool-association/

Daniel Hamlin wrote about activities of homeschoolers in the comprehensive examination of the homeschool population, Homeschool Happens Everywhere: Less formal instruction, but more family and community activities:

Homeschool families report higher rates of participation in cultural and family activities, suggesting that students have opportunities to acquire cultural capital outside of formal instructional time. Indeed, increased opportunities for hands-on learning may be a fundamental reason why some families opt to homeschool. Participation in these types of activities also may play a compensatory role, possibly offsetting what may be forfeited by not attending a traditional brick-and-mortar school. And it may offer a glimpse of the potential unique benefits to homeschooling, such as more frequent exposure to museums and art galleries and other community-based opportunities to engage with high culture.

This initial foray into the relationship between cultural capital and homeschooling underscores lines of inquiry for future research. Little is known about how homeschool parents attempt to teach art, music, and foreign languages. Furthermore, it remains uncertain whether a lack of instruction in humanities subjects among homeschool households signifies a rejection of conventional forms of instruction or is a consequence of unobserved barriers that these families face.

These findings cannot fully answer the concerns raised by Bartholet about child safety and homeschooling. Child neglect and abuse are urgent problems in some share of all families, and it is true that some children find refuge and access social-service supports through their schools. However, national survey data does not indicate that this is a concern for the majority. Critiques that homeschooled children grow up in cultural and social isolation may be overstated and mischaracterize the practice.

A richer understanding of homeschooling is especially relevant as families across the United States contemplate an uncertain return to full-time formal instruction in school buildings in the fall of 2020. Taking the activities of homeschool families as a guide, reduced classroom time or continued closures may potentially free up more time for different sorts of educational activities that parents and children can pursue at home. Even if museums and libraries remain closed, they have created rich online tours and educational programs in the wake of the pandemic, like those offered by the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the Louvre, NASA’s Langley Research Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Is the knowledge students gain from these sorts of activities equivalent to what they develop through experiences at school? What might be the benefits, as well as the limitations, of exploring education in this way on a broad scale? In the pandemic age, we may be about to find out.                                                                   educationnext.org/homeschool-happens-everywhere-less-formal-instructin-more-family-community-activities/

Here is the press release from Education Next:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Homeschoolers more likely than public-school peers to attend community events, visit museums, and more

New analysis of Education Department data

Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Bartholet’s recent call to ban homeschooling purported that homeschoolers are isolated and at urgent risk of harm from maltreatment, under-education, and parental abuse. But concerns that such students are in danger appear, at the very least, overblown, reports Daniel Hamlin in a new article for Education Next.

He finds that homeschooled students are more likely to attend a community event, visit a museum, and engage in family activities than their counterparts in public schools.

“Critiques that homeschooled children grow up in cultural and social isolation may be overstated and mischaracterize the practice,” Hamlin writes.

For more information, read “X.” To speak to the authors, please contact Jackie Kerstetter.

About Education NextEducation Next is a scholarly journal committed to careful examination of evidence relating to school reform, published by the Education Next Institute and the Program on Education Policy and Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School. For more information, please visit educationnext.org.

Many of our children are “unschooled” and a far greater number are “uneducated.” One can be “unschooled” or “uneducated” no matter the setting. As a society, we should be focused on making sure that each child receives a good basic education. There are many ways to reach that goal. There is nothing scary about the fact that some parents make the choice to homeschool. The focus should not be on the particular setting or institution type. The focus should be on proper assessment of each child to ensure that child is receiving a good basic education and the foundation for later success in life.

Related:

‘Hybrid’ homeschooling is growing                                      https://drwilda.com/2012/08/16/hybrid-homeschooling-is-growing/

New book: Homeschooling, the little option that could  https://drwilda.com/2012/10/12/new-book-homeschooling-the-little-option-that-could/

Homeschooled kids make the grade for college
https://drwilda.com/2012/07/02/homeschooled-kids-make-the-grade-for-college/

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Dr. Wilda ©
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University of California – Davis study: Domestic violence increased in the great recession

27 Jul

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Tolstoy may not have been specifically talking about domestic violence, but each situation is unique. There is a specific story and specific journey for each victim, each couple, and each abuser. There is no predicted endpoint for domestic violence; each situation will have its own outcome.

Headlines regularly detail incidents of domestic violence involving sports figures and other prominent people. Domestic Violence is a societal problem. According to Safe Horizon:

The Victims
1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.
Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults.
Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men
Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
Every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner….. http://www.safehorizon.org/page/domestic-violence-statistics–facts-52.html

Abusers come in all races, classes, genders, religions and creeds.

See, https://drwilda.com/tag/domestic-violence/

Science Daily reported in Domestic violence increased in the great recession:

Emergency room visits for domestic violence incidents in California more than tripled during the Great Recession compared to the years before, signaling a need to prepare for similar and more prolonged effects during the COVID-19 financial crisis, suggest University of California, Davis, researchers.

Conducting one of the first studies to date examining the impact of a modern recession on hospital and emergency room visits, researchers found that physical abuse in adults increased substantially between the time periods, with Black and Native American people being disproportionately affected. Violence against children did not show a marked increase. The results were published in Preventive Medicine in June.

“The results from our study shine a spotlight on the importance of domestic-violence-related screening, prevention and response during the next several months of the COVID-19 financial effects,” said the study’s primary author, Alvaro Medel-Herrero, project scientist for the UC Davis Center for Health and the Environment. “Notably, domestic violence is grossly under-reported, and cases that end up in the emergency room or result in a hospital stay are only the most egregious examples. This tells us there may be an even larger problem than the numbers can show.”

The study’s co-authors included Suzette Smiley-Jewel, of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; Martha Shumway, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco; Amy Bonomi, Michigan State University; and Dennis Reidy, School of Public Health, Georgia State University.

Study looked at 53,000 domestic violence episodes

The study’s authors looked at more than 53,000 domestic-violence-related episodes, composed of both intimate partner violence as well as violence against elders and children, between 2000 and 2015. The numbers were drawn from California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, or OSHPD, and then broken down between the years during, before and after the Great Recession. While the Great Recession officially lasted less than two years, from December 2007 to June 2009, during which the gross domestic product contracted, the economic crisis produced long-lasting consequences for individuals as well as society as a whole, researchers said.

“Proactive outreach is especially needed for minoritized people, who may be especially isolated, experiencing disconnections from services, and facing extreme financial stress,” said one of the co-authors, Bonomi, of Michigan State University.

Blacks more than three times more likely to be victims

Time series for the study were divided into pre-recession (January 2000-November 2007) and recession/post-recession (December 2007-September 2015) periods. Blacks were more than three times more likely to suffer domestic violence during the recessionary period when compared with other segments of the California population, according to the data. Statistics showed that there were 3.58 emergency room visits per 100,000 population compared to 10.42 emergency visits per 100,000 people for Blacks. Hospitalization rates remained relatively similar from the pre-recession as compared to the recession/post-recession period except for Native Americans, which nearly doubled.

Emergency visits vastly exceeded hospitalizations during the 2007-2015 time period.

Additionally, the number of California police calls for weapon-involved domestic violence episodes steadily increased from 2008 (65,219) to 2014 (75,102).

Costs associated with domestic violence

For the period analyzed (2000-2015), the estimated total charge for all analyzed domestic violence hospitalizations was more than $1 billion (data was not available for emergency department costs)….                   https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200713165609.htm

Citation:

Domestic violence increased in the great recession

Study suggests preparing for similar issues in COVID-19

Date:       July 13, 2020

Source:    University of California – Davis

Summary:

Researchers found that physical abuse in adults increased substantially, with Black and Native American people being disproportionately affected.

Journal Reference:

Alvaro Medel-Herrero, Martha Shumway, Suzette Smiley-Jewell, Amy Bonomi, Dennis Reidy. The impact of the Great Recession on California domestic violence events, and related hospitalizations and emergency service visitsPreventive Medicine, 2020; 139: 106186 DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2020.106186

 

Here is the press release from University of California – Davis:

Domestic Violence Increased in the Great RecessionUC Davis Study Suggests Preparing for Similar Issues in COVID-19 Financial Crisis

By Karen Nikos-Rose on July 13, 2020 in Human & Animal Health

A figure from the study shows incidents of domestic violence that required either an emergency room visit or hospitalization by rates per 100,000 of population. The numbers show a marked increase during the Great Recession, especially among Blacks and Native Americans.

Quick Summary

  • Need to prepare for similar effects during the COVID-19 financial crisis

Emergency room visits for domestic violence incidents in California more than tripled during the Great Recession compared to the years before, signaling a need to prepare for similar and more prolonged effects during the COVID-19 financial crisis, suggest University of California, Davis, researchers.

Conducting one of the first studies to date examining the impact of a modern recession on hospital and emergency room visits, researchers found that physical abuse in adults increased substantially between the time periods, with Black and Native American people being disproportionately affected. Violence against children did not show a marked increase. The results were published in Preventive Medicine in June.

“The results from our study shine a spotlight on the importance of domestic-violence-related screening, prevention and response during the next several months of the COVID-19 financial effects,” said the study’s primary author, Alvaro Medel-Herrero, project scientist for the UC Davis Center for Health and the Environment. “Notably, domestic violence is grossly under-reported, and cases that end up in the emergency room or result in a hospital stay are only the most egregious examples. This tells us there may be an even larger problem than the numbers can show.”

The study’s co-authors included Suzette Smiley-Jewel, of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; Martha Shumway, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco; Amy Bonomi, Michigan State University; and Dennis Reidy, School of Public Health, Georgia State University.

Study looked at 53,000 domestic violence episodes

The study’s authors looked at more than 53,000 domestic-violence-related episodes, composed of both intimate partner violence as well as violence against elders and children, between 2000 and 2015. The numbers were drawn from California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, or OSHPD, and then broken down between the years during, before and after the Great Recession. While the Great Recession officially lasted less than two years, from December 2007 to June 2009, during which the gross domestic product contracted, the economic crisis produced long-lasting consequences for individuals as well as society as a whole, researchers said.

“Proactive outreach is especially needed for minoritized people, who may be especially isolated, experiencing disconnections from services, and facing extreme financial stress,” said one of the co-authors, Bonomi, of Michigan State University.

Blacks more than three times more likely to be victims

Time series for the study were divided into pre-recession (January 2000-November 2007) and recession/post-recession (December 2007-September 2015) periods. Blacks were more than three times more likely to suffer domestic violence during the recessionary period when compared with other segments of the California population, according to the data. Statistics showed that there were 3.58 emergency room visits per 100,000 population compared to 10.42 emergency visits per 100,000 people for Blacks. Hospitalization rates remained relatively similar  from the pre-recession as compared to the recession/post-recession period except for Native Americans, which nearly doubled.

Emergency visits vastly exceeded hospitalizations during the 2007-2015 time period.

Additionally, the number of California police calls for weapon-involved domestic violence episodes steadily increased from 2008 (65,219) to 2014 (75,102).

Costs associated with domestic violence

For the period analyzed (2000-2015), the estimated total charge for all analyzed domestic violence hospitalizations was more than $1 billion (data was not available for emergency department costs).

Length of hospital stays slightly increased during the recession/post-recession period as compared to the pre-recession period, yet the inflation-adjusted charge per hospitalization dramatically increased over time, according to the study.

Domestic violence rate does not correspond with other hospital visits

It is important to note that the described increase in domestic-violence-related hospitalizations during the recession does not correspond to a general trend in health care in California. For example, California cancer hospital rates dropped during the Great Recession, according to OSHPD data.  However, an increasing demand for emergency care during the recession and post-recession period has been reported and may reflect limitations in accessing care in other parts of the health care system, researchers said.

The authors’ research will continue.

The research was supported by a UC Davis Feminist Research Institute seed grant.

Media contact(s)

Karen Nikos-Rose, News and Media Relations, 530-219-5472, kmnikos@ucdavis.edu

Marriage.com wrote in Prevention Of Domestic Violence:

Different ways intimate partner violence can manifest itself

So what thwarts the prevention of domestic violence? Intimate partner violence is one potential threat.

Intimate partner violence can exist in the form of physical violence, sexual violence, risks of physical or sexual violence, stalking, and emotional or psychological abuse by a present or past intimate partner. Intimate partner violence can occur among opposite sex or same-sex couples and does not need to involve sexual intimacy. It can be just one episode of domestic violence or a range of brutal episodes of domestic violence over a period of years.

So, prevention of domestic violence starts with looking at ways to make sure that violence can be avoided. The main way to prevent domestic violence is to ensure that it does not start in the first place. It is essential to do everything possible to prevent the occurrence of domestic violence because it constitutes a problem for public health and safety.

If you are looking for useful resources that facilitate prevention of domestic violence, here’s the right help.

Data from CDC’S National Intimate Partner and sexual violence study show that domestic violence constitutes Public Health issues and ;

  • Twenty-two percent of women and fourteen percent of men experience serious physical violence which includes being smacked with a very solid material, being lashed out or beaten, or being set ablaze.
  • Twenty-seven percent of women and roughly twelve percent of men in the US have witnessed some form of sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by their spouse or their intimate partner and stated that the violence they experienced had some kind of negative impact to their health. Example of actions that are classified as sexual violence is rape, being forced to penetrate, sexual compulsion, and undesirable sexual contact.

What can you do for prevention of domestic violence?

We all can help to prevent domestic violence by taking the following steps:

  • Ring the police if you witness any occurrence of domestic violence.

  • Publicly speak up against domestic violence. Domestic violence prevention should become a mass cause and it is important to sensitize others as much as you can. You can, for instance, tell a friend that makes a joke about beating your spouse, that it is unacceptable to you as a humorous subject.

  • One of the ways to prevent domestic violence is by showing your children how to live a healthy, respectful, romantic relationship through your relationship with your spouse. Live by what you preach. Remember this as one of the crucial domestic violence prevention tips.

  • If you have a clue that your neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family member is suffering from any form of domestic violence refer him or her to an organization that may help and aid in the prevention of domestic violence.

  • If your neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family member is abusing his or her partner, find ways to communicate your concerns to him or her and show your firm stance at preventing domestic violence.

  • Take part in educating others on how to ensure prevention of domestic violence by engaging a speaker from a domestic violence organization in your locality to give a talk about domestic violence at your religious or professional organization, public organization or volunteer group, in your workplace, or in schools.

  • Persuade people in your neighborhood to watch out for signs of domestic violence and related crimes. Recognizing red flags is a concrete step in the direction of prevention of domestic violence….                                                                                     https://www.marriage.com/advice/domestic-violence/prevention-of-domestic-violence/

Resources:

Prevent Domestic Violence in Your Community                                                                        https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/intimate-partner-violence/index.html

LifeWire – Together Against Domestic Violence ‘ class=”l sb-l” v:shapes=”sbresult_13″>

www.lifewire.org

Great Sources for Domestic Violence Prevention                                                                             https://www.socialworkdegree.net/domestic-violence-prevention/

 

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
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American Academy of Neurology study: Does eating fish protect our brains from air pollution?

26 Jul

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment wrote in Benefits and Risks of Eating Fish:

Benefits of eating fish

Fish are an important part of a healthy, well-balanced diet. They provide a good source of protein and vitamins, and are a primary dietary source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids can:
    • lower risk of heart disease
    • lower triglyceride levels
    • slow the growth of plaque in your arteries
    • and slightly lower blood pressure
  • Omega-3 fatty acids may also provide health benefits to developing babies.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women can pass this nutrient to their baby by eating the right kind of fish.
  • Fish species that have higher levels of omega-3s are shown with a heart icon () when OEHHA recommends that they can be eaten at least once a week.

Risks of eating fish

While eating fish has nutritional benefits, it also has potential risks. Fish can take in harmful chemicals from the water and the food they eat. Chemicals like mercury and PCBs can build up in their bodies over time.

  • High levels of mercury and PCBs can harm the brain and nervous system.
  • Mercury can be especially harmful to fetuses, infants, and children because their bodies are still developing.
  • PCBs can cause cancer and other harmful health effects.

Reduce your risk

There is no way to tell the level of chemicals in a fish by simply looking at it or tasting it.  Fortunately, there are easy things you can do to reduce your risk, and enjoy the health benefits of eating fish:

  • Check if there are advisories for water bodies where you fish.
  • Follow our advisories (Watch our video to learn how) by picking species that are lower in mercury and other harmful chemicals.
  • Follow our general tips for catching and preparing fish.

While there are potential risks to consider, there are many health benefits of eating fish. If you avoid eating fish entirely, you won’t benefit from the nutrients that fish can provide. By following our fish advisories and properly cleaning, preparing, and cooking fish, you can safely enjoy the health benefits of eating fish.

Benefits and Risks of Eating Fish                                                                                                            https://oehha.ca.gov/fish/benefits-risks

Resources:

11 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Eating Fish                                                          https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-health-benefits-of-fish#section11

The benefits of eating fish                                                                                                 http://seafood.edf.org/benefits-eating-fish

Health Benefits of Fish                                                                                                                           https://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Food/Fish/HealthBenefits

Science Daily reported in Does eating fish protect our brains from air pollution?

Older women who eat more than one to two servings a week of baked or broiled fish or shellfish may consume enough omega-3 fatty acids to counteract the effects of air pollution on the brain, according to a new study published in the July 15, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Researchers found that among older women who lived in areas with high levels of air pollution, those who had the lowest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had more brain shrinkage than women who had the highest levels.

“Fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and easy to add to the diet,” said study author Ka He, M.D., Sc.D., of Columbia University in New York. “Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to fight inflammation and maintain brain structure in aging brains. They have also been found to reduce brain damage caused by neurotoxins like lead and mercury. So we explored if omega-3 fatty acids have a protective effect against another neurotoxin, the fine particulate matter found in air pollution.”

The study involved 1,315 women with an average age of 70 who did not have dementia at the start of the study. The women completed questionnaires about diet, physical activity, and medical history.

Researchers used the diet questionnaire to calculate the average amount of fish each woman consumed each week, including broiled or baked fish, canned tuna, tuna salad, tuna casserole and non-fried shellfish. Fried fish was not included because research has shown deep frying damages omega-3 fatty acids.

Participants were given blood tests. Researchers measured the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their red blood cells and then divided the women into four groups based on the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood.

Researchers used the women’s home addresses to determine their three-year average exposure to air pollution. Participants then had brain scans with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure various areas of the brain including white matter, which is composed of nerve fibers that send signals throughout the brain, and the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with memory.

After adjusting for age, education, smoking and other factors that could affect brain shrinkage, researchers found that women who had the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood had greater volumes of white matter than those with the lowest levels. Those in the highest group had 410 cubic centimeters (cm3) white matter, compared to 403 cm3 for those in the lowest group. The researchers found that for each quartile increase in air pollution levels, the average white matter volume was 11.52 cm3 smaller among people with lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids and 0.12 cm3 smaller among those with higher levels.

Women with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood also had greater volumes of the hippocampus…                                                                                                                                        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200715163555.htm

Citation:

Does eating fish protect our brains from air pollution?

Date:     July 15, 2020

Source:  American Academy of Neurology

Summary:

Older women who eat more than one to two servings a week of baked or broiled fish or shellfish may consume enough omega-3 fatty acids to counteract the effects of air pollution on the brain, according to a new study.

Journal Reference:

Cheng Chen, View ORCID ProfilePengcheng Xun, View ORCID ProfileJoel D. Kaufman, Kathleen M. Hayden, Mark A. Espeland, Eric A. Whitsel, Marc L. Serre, William Vizuete, Tonya Orchard, William S. Harris, Xinhui Wang, Helena C. Chui, Jiu-Chiuan Chen, Ka He. Erythrocyte omega-3 index, ambient fine particle exposure and brain agingNeurology, 2020 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000010074

Here is the press release from the American Academy of Neurology:

NEWS RELEASE 15-JUL-2020

Does eating fish protect our brains from air pollution?

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF NEUROLOGY

MINNEAPOLIS – Older women who eat more than one to two servings a week of baked or broiled fish or shellfish may consume enough omega-3 fatty acids to counteract the effects of air pollution on the brain, according to a new study published in the July 15, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Researchers found that among older women who lived in areas with high levels of air pollution, those who had the lowest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had more brain shrinkage than women who had the highest levels.

“Fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and easy to add to the diet,” said study author Ka He, M.D., Sc.D., of Columbia University in New York. “Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to fight inflammation and maintain brain structure in aging brains. They have also been found to reduce brain damage caused by neurotoxins like lead and mercury. So we explored if omega-3 fatty acids have a protective effect against another neurotoxin, the fine particulate matter found in air pollution.”

The study involved 1,315 women with an average age of 70 who did not have dementia at the start of the study. The women completed questionnaires about diet, physical activity, and medical history.

Researchers used the diet questionnaire to calculate the average amount of fish each woman consumed each week, including broiled or baked fish, canned tuna, tuna salad, tuna casserole and non-fried shellfish. Fried fish was not included because research has shown deep frying damages omega-3 fatty acids.

Participants were given blood tests. Researchers measured the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their red blood cells and then divided the women into four groups based on the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood.

Researchers used the women’s home addresses to determine their three-year average exposure to air pollution. Participants then had brain scans with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure various areas of the brain including white matter, which is composed of nerve fibers that send signals throughout the brain, and the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with memory.

After adjusting for age, education, smoking and other factors that could affect brain shrinkage, researchers found that women who had the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood had greater volumes of white matter than those with the lowest levels. Those in the highest group had 410 cubic centimeters (cm3) white matter, compared to 403 cm3 for those in the lowest group. The researchers found that for each quartile increase in air pollution levels, the average white matter volume was 11.52 cm3 smaller among people with lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids and 0.12 cm3 smaller among those with higher levels.

Women with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood also had greater volumes of the hippocampus.

“Our findings suggest that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood from fish consumption may preserve brain volume as women age and possibly protect against the potential toxic effects of air pollution,” said He. “It’s important to note that our study only found an association between brain volume and eating fish. It does not prove that eating fish preserves brain volume. And since separate studies have found some species of fish may contain environmental toxins, it’s important to talk to a doctor about what types of fish to eat before adding more fish to your diet.”

A limitation of the study was that most participants were older white women, so the results cannot be generalized to others. Also, researchers were only able to examine exposures to later-life air pollution, not early or mid-life exposures, so future studies should look at exposures to air pollution across a person’s lifespan.

###

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more about the brain at BrainandLife.org, home of the American Academy of Neurology’s free patient and caregiver magazine focused on the intersection of neurologic disease and brain health. Follow Brain & Life® on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

When posting to social media channels about this research, we encourage you to use the hashtags #Neurology and #AANscience.

The American Academy of Neurology is the world’s largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, with over 36,000 members. The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit AAN.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Media Contacts:

Renee Tessman, rtessman@aan.com, (612) 928-6137
M.A. Rosko, mrosko@aan.com, (612) 928-6169

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics wrote in Healthy Eating for Older Adults which was reviewed by Esther Ellis, MS, RDN, LDN:

Eating a variety of foods from all food groups can help supply the nutrients a person needs as they age. A healthy eating plan emphasizes fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free dairy; includes lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, salt (sodium) and added sugars.

Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with these recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans:

·         Eat fruits and vegetables. They can be fresh, frozen or canned. Eat more dark green vegetables such as leafy greens or broccoli, and orange vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes.
·         Vary protein choices with more fish, beans and peas.
·         Eat at least three ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta every day. Choose whole grains whenever possible.
·         Have three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy (milk, yogurt or cheese) that are fortified with vitamin D to help keep your bones healthy.
·         Make the fats you eat polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Switch from solid fats to oils when preparing food.
Add Physical Activity
Balancing physical activity and a healthful diet is the best recipe for health and fitness. Set a goal to be physically active at least 30 minutes every day — this even can be broken into three 10-minute sessions throughout the day.
For someone who is currently inactive, it’s a good idea to start with a few minutes of activity, such as walking, and gradually increase this time as they become stronger. And always check with a health-care provider before beginning a new physical activity program.                                                                                       https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/dietary-guidelines-and-myplate/healthy-eating-for-older-adults

 

The bottom line is, I’m blessed with good health. On top of that, I don’t go around thinking ‘Oh, I’m 90, I better do this or I better do that.’ I’m just Betty. I’m the same Betty that I’ve always been. Take it or leave it.

Betty White

 

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

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University of Edinburgh study: Blood iron levels could be key to slowing aging, gene study shows

25 Jul

Stephanie Watson wrote in the WebMD article which was reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on July 12, 2020, , What You Need to Know About Iron Supplements:

How Much Iron Do You Need?

How much iron you need each day depends on your age, gender, and overall health.

Infants and toddlers need more iron than adults, in general, because their bodies are growing so quickly. In childhood, boys and girls need the same amount of iron — 10 milligrams daily from ages 4 to 8, and 8 mg daily from ages 9 to 13.

Starting at adolescence, a woman’s daily iron needs increase. Women need more iron because they lose blood each month during their period. That’s why women from ages 19 to 50 need to get 18 mg of iron each day, while men the same age can get away with just 8 mg.

After menopause, a woman’s iron needs drop as her menstrual cycle ends. After a woman begins menopause, both men and women need the same amount of iron — 8 mg each day.

You might need more iron, either from dietary sources or from an iron supplement, if you:

If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you may also need to take an iron supplement, because the body doesn’t absorb the type of iron found in plants as well as it absorbs the iron from meat.

How Do You Know If You’re Iron Deficient?

“People often don’t know they have anemia until they have signs or symptoms — they appear pale or ‘sallow,’ are fatigued, or have difficulty exercising,” Chottiner says.

If you’re low in iron, you may also:

  • Feel short of breath
  • Have a fast heartbeat
  • Have cold hands and feet
  • Crave strange substances such as dirt or clay
  • Have brittle and spoon shaped nails or hair loss
  • Sores at the corner of the mouth
  • sore tongue
  • Severe iron deficiency can cause difficulty in swallowing

If you’re tired and dragging, see your doctor. “It’s fairly easy to detect and diagnose the different stages of iron deficiency with a simple blood test,” Thomas says. Women who are pregnant and people with a gastrointestinal disorder such as Crohn’sulcerative colitis, or celiac disease should have their iron tested on a regular basis.

Do You Need to Take an Iron Supplement?

If your iron is low, eating a diet that is high in iron-rich foods such as fortified cereals, red meat, dried fruit, and beans may not be enough to give you what you need. Your doctor might recommend that you take an iron supplement.

Prenatal vitamins usually include iron, but not all prenatal vitamins contain the recommended amount. Check with your doctor before taking any supplement.

While you are taking iron supplements, your doctor should test your blood to see if your iron levels have improved.

Can Iron Supplements Cause Side Effects?

Iron supplements can cause side effects, usually stomach upset such as nauseavomitingdiarrhea, dark stools, or constipation. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to constipation. Adding extra fiber to your diet can help relieve this symptom. A stool softener may also make you feel better.

Starting with a low dose of iron and then gradually increasing the dose to the daily recommended amount may help minimize side effects. If your iron supplements are bothering your stomach, your doctor can adjust the dose or form of iron you use. You can also try taking the supplements with food.

Can You Take Too Much Iron?

Unlike some supplements, when the subject is iron, more is definitely not better. Adults shouldn’t take any more than 45 mg of iron a day unless they are being treated with iron under close medical supervision.

For children, iron overdose can be especially toxic. “Iron supplements have killed young children because their needs for iron compared to an adult’s are relatively low,” Thomas says. If you take iron supplements, it is very important to keep them in a high, locked cabinet, far out of your children’s reach. Symptoms of iron poisoning include severe vomiting, diarrheaabdominal paindehydration, and bloody stool in children.

It’s difficult for adults to overdose on iron just from food and supplements, because an adult body has systems in place to regulate the amount of iron it absorbs. However, people with the inherited condition hemochromatosis have trouble regulating their iron absorption.

Although most people only absorb about 10% of the iron they consume, people with hemochromatosis absorb up to 30%. As a result, the iron in their body can build up to dangerous levels. That excess iron can deposit in organs such as the liverheart, and pancreas, which can lead to conditions like cirrhosisheart failure, and diabetes. For that reason, people with hemochromatosis should not take iron supplements.                      webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/features/iron-supplements#1

Resources:

Too Much Iron in Your Blood?                                                                                                    https://www.webmd.com/men/features/too-much-iron-in-your-blood#1

Iron-rich Foods and Anemia                                                                                                             https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14621-iron-rich-foods-and-anemia

Hemochromatosis                                                                                                                       https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hemochromatosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351443

Mayo Clinic Family Health Book

The ultimate home medical resource — completely revised and updated!                              https://order.store.mayoclinic.com/books/gnweb43?utm_source=MC-DotOrg-PS&utm_medium=Link&utm_campaign=FamilyHealth-Book&utm_content=FHB

Science Daily reported in Blood iron levels could be key to slowing aging, gene study shows

Genes linked to ageing that could help explain why some people age at different rates to others have been identified by scientists.

The international study using genetic data from more than a million people suggests that maintaining healthy levels of iron in the blood could be a key to ageing better and living longer.

The findings could accelerate the development of drugs to reduce age-related diseases, extend healthy years of life and increase the chances of living to old age free of disease, the researchers say.

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Germany focused on three measures linked to biological ageing — lifespan, years of life lived free of disease (healthspan), and being extremely long-lived (longevity).

Biological ageing — the rate at which our bodies decline over time — varies between people and drives the world’s most fatal diseases, including heart disease, dementia and cancers.

The researchers pooled information from three public datasets to enable an analysis in unprecedented detail. The combined dataset was equivalent to studying 1.75 million lifespans or more than 60,000 extremely long-lived people.

The team pinpointed ten regions of the genome linked to long lifespan, healthspan and longevity. They also found that gene sets linked to iron were overrepresented in their analysis of all three measures of ageing.

The researchers confirmed this using a statistical method — known as Mendelian randomisation — that suggested that genes involved in metabolising iron in the blood are partly responsible for a healthy long life.

Blood iron is affected by diet and abnormally high or low levels are linked to age-related conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, liver disease and a decline in the body’s ability to fight infection in older age.

The researchers say that designing a drug that could mimic the influence of genetic variation on iron metabolism could be a future step to overcome some of the effects of ageing, but caution that more work is required.

The study was funded by the Medical Research Council and is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Anonymised datasets linking genetic variation to healthspan, lifespan, and longevity were downloaded from the publically available Zenodo, Edinburgh DataShare and Longevity Genomics servers.

Dr Paul Timmers from the Usher Institute at the University of Edinburgh, said: “We are very excited by these findings as they strongly suggest that high levels of iron in the blood reduces our healthy years of life, and keeping these levels in check could prevent age-related damage. We speculate that our findings on iron metabolism might also start to explain why very high levels of iron-rich red meat in the diet has been linked to age-related conditions such as heart disease….”                                                                                                                  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200716101548.htm

Citation:

Blood iron levels could be key to slowing aging, gene study shows

Date:      July 16, 2020

Source:   University of Edinburgh

Summary:

Genes linked to aging that could help explain why some people age at different rates to others have been identified by scientists.

Journal Reference:

Paul R. H. J. Timmers, James F. Wilson, Peter K. Joshi, Joris Deelen. Multivariate genomic scan implicates novel loci and haem metabolism in human ageingNature Communications, 2020; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-17312-3

Here is the press release from the University of Edinburgh:

Blood iron levels could be key to slowing ageing

Genes that could help explain why some people age at different rates to others have been identified by scientists.

The international study using genetic data from more than a million people suggests that maintaining healthy levels of iron in the blood could be a key to ageing better and living longer.

The findings could accelerate the development of drugs to reduce age-related diseases, extend healthy years of life and increase the chances of living to old age free of disease, the researchers say.

Biological ageing

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Germany focused on three measures linked to biological ageing – lifespan, years of life lived free of disease (healthspan), and being extremely long–lived (longevity).

Biological ageing – the rate at which our bodies decline over time – varies between people and drives the world’s most fatal diseases, including heart disease, dementia and cancers.

Data analysis

The researchers pooled information from three public datasets to enable an analysis in unprecedented detail. The combined dataset was equivalent to studying 1.75 million lifespans or more than 60,000 extremely long-lived people.

The team pinpointed ten regions of the genome linked to long lifespan, healthspan and longevity. They also found that gene sets linked to iron were overrepresented in their analysis of all three measures of ageing.

Iron’s role

The researchers confirmed this using a statistical method – known as Mendelian randomisation – that suggested that genes involved in metabolising iron in the blood are partly responsible for a healthy long life.

Blood iron is affected by diet and abnormally high or low levels are linked to age-related conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, liver disease and a decline in the body’s ability to fight infection in older age.

The researchers say that designing a drug that could mimic the influence of genetic variation on iron metabolism could be a future step to overcome some of the effects of ageing, but caution that more work is required.

The study was funded by the Medical Research Council and is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Anonymised datasets linking genetic variation to healthspan, lifespan, and longevity were downloaded from the publicly available Zenodo, Edinburgh DataShare and Longevity Genomics servers.

We are very excited by these findings as they strongly suggest that high levels of iron in the blood reduces our healthy years of life, and keeping these levels in check could prevent age-related damage. We speculate that our findings on iron metabolism might also start to explain why very high levels of iron-rich red meat in the diet has been linked to age-related conditions such as heart disease.

Dr Paul TimmersUsher Institute, University of Edinburgh

Our ultimate aim is to discover how ageing is regulated and find ways to increase health during ageing. The ten regions of the genome we have discovered that are linked to lifespan, healthspan and longevity are all exciting candidates for further studies.

Dr Joris DeelenMax Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing

Realted links

Journal article in Nature Communications

Usher Insitute

Daniel Pendick, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Men’s Health Watch wrote in A healthy diet is the key to getting the iron you need:

Keeping the reservoir full

Most of us get the iron we need from food. Proponents of the Paleo or “cave man” diet should be cheered to know that red meat, poultry, and fish contain the most easily absorbed form of dietary iron—called heme iron. This is iron attached to the hemoglobin protein. The body absorbs heme iron more easily than the iron found in plants.

“In the typical American diet, the main sources of iron tend to be animal products,” Sesso says. “Typical meat consumption in the United States is usually more than adequate to meet one’s iron requirements.”

In plant foods, iron is not attached to such a protein. The body doesn’t absorb non-heme iron from fruits, vegetables, beans, and other plant foods as easily as it absorbs heme iron. That means those who eat little or no meat must take in more iron from leafy greens, legumes, whole grains, mushrooms, and other iron-rich plant foods. They also need to get enough vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron from food.

The USDA recommends that women between the ages of 19 and 50 get 18 mg of iron a day, while women ages 51 and older and men 19 years and beyond need 8 mg a day. Moderate amounts of meat plus fruits and vegetables can provide that amount, helped along by the many foods fortified with iron and other vitamins and minerals, like milk, flour, and breakfast cereals. And half of all Americans get some iron from a daily multivitamin.

One caution about iron: If you don’ think you are getting enough iron, or feel pooped out and assume it’s your “tired blood,” you may be tempted to pop an iron supplement as insurance. But beware. The body does not excrete iron rapidly. That means it can build up over time and, in some people, becomes toxic. The genetic disorder hemochromatosis causes iron to build up in organs, causing heart failure and diabetes.

So don’t just prescribe yourself an iron supplement on a whim; ask your doctor if you need it.

Good sources of iron

Food Portion Iron content (milligrams)
Fortified cold breakfast cereal 3 ounces 30 to 60
Spirulina seaweed 3 ounces 28
Oysters 3 ounces 9
Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 9
Cream of Wheat 1 serving 9
Pumpkin seeds 3 ounces 8
Spinach, boiled and drained 1 cup 7
Lentils, cooked 1 cup 7
Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 5
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 4
Beef, ground 4 ounces 3
Turkey, ground 4 ounces 3
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/healthy-diet-key-getting-iron-need-201502127710

Resources:

Iron-Rich Foods                                                                                                                            https://www.webmd.com/diet/iron-rich-foods#1

21 Foods that are High in Iron and Why You Need Them                                                              https://stayhealthy.fit/21-foods-that-are-high-in-iron-and-why-you-need-them/?utm_source=%2Biron%20%2Bdiet&utm_medium=21FoodsthatareHighinIronandWhyYouNeedThem&utm_campaign=adw_us

BEFORE BEGINNING ANY PROGRAM OF DIET, EXERCISE OR NUTRITION SUPPLEMENT CONSULT A COMPETANT MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL

 

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

 

University of Missouri – Columbia study: Avoiding food contamination with a durable coating for hard surfaces

24 Jul

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe Food Contamination: How Food Gets Contaminated – The Food Production Chain

It takes several steps to get food from the farm or fishery to the dining table. We call these steps the food production chain (see graphic). Contamination can occur at any point along the chain—during production, processing, distribution, or preparation.

Production

Production means growing the plants we harvest or raising the animals we use for food. Most food comes from domesticated animals and plants, and their production occurs on farms or ranches. Some foods are caught or harvested from the wild, such as some fish, mushrooms, and game.

Production means growing the plants we harvest or raising the animals we use for food.

Examples of Contamination in Production

  • If a hen’s reproductive organs are infected, the yolk of an egg can be contaminated in the hen before it is even laid.
  • If the fields are sprayed with contaminated water for irrigation, fruits and vegetables can be contaminated before harvest.
  • Fish in some tropical reefs may acquire a toxin from the smaller sea creatures they eat.

Processing

Processing means changing plants or animals into what we recognize and buy as food. Processing involves different steps for different kinds of foods. For produce, processing can be as simple as washing and sorting, or it can involve trimming, slicing, or shredding. Milk is usually processed by pasteurizing it; sometimes it is made into cheese. Nuts may be roasted, chopped, or ground (such as with peanut butter). For animals, the first step of processing is slaughter. Meat and poultry may then be cut into pieces or ground. They may also be smoked, cooked, or frozen and may be combined with other ingredients to make a sausage or entrée, such as a potpie.

Processing means changing plants or animals into what we recognize and buy as food.

Examples of Contamination in Processing

  • If contaminated water or ice is used to wash, pack, or chill fruits or vegetables, the contamination can spread to those items.
  • During the slaughter process, germs on an animal’s hide that came from the intestines can get into the final meat product.
  • If germs contaminate surfaces used for food processing, such as a processing line or storage bins, germs can spread to foods that touch those surfaces.

Distribution

Distribution means getting food from the farm or processing plant to the consumer or a food service facility like a restaurant, cafeteria, or hospital kitchen. This step might involve transporting foods just once, such as trucking produce from a farm to the local farmers’ market. Or it might involve many stages. For instance, frozen hamburger patties might be trucked from a meat processing plant to a large supplier, stored for a few days in the supplier’s warehouse, trucked again to a local distribution facility for a restaurant chain, and finally delivered to an individual restaurant.

Distribution means getting food from the farm or processing plant to the consumer or a food service facility like a restaurant, cafeteria, or hospital kitchen.

Examples of Contamination in Distribution

  • If refrigerated food is left on a loading dock for long time in warm weather, it could reach temperatures that allow bacteria to grow.
  • Fresh produce can be contaminated if it is loaded into a truck that was not cleaned after transporting animals or animal products.

Preparation

Preparation means getting the food ready to eat. This step may occur in the kitchen of a restaurant, home, or institution. It may involve following a complex recipe with many ingredients, simply heating and serving a food on a plate, or just opening a package and eating the food.

Preparation means getting the food ready to eat. This step may occur in the kitchen of a restaurant, home, or institution.

Examples of Contamination in Preparation

  • If a food worker stays on the job while sick and does not wash his or her hands carefully after using the toilet, the food worker can spread germs by touching food.
  • If a cook uses a cutting board or knife to cut raw chicken and then uses the same knife or cutting board without washing it to slice tomatoes for a salad, the tomatoes can be contaminated by germs from the chicken.
  • Contamination can occur in a refrigerator if meat juices get on items that will be eaten raw.

Mishandling at Multiple Points

Sometimes, by the time a food causes illness, it has been mishandled in several ways along the food production chain. Once contamination occurs, further mishandling, such as undercooking the food or leaving it out on the counter at an unsafe temperature, can make a foodborne illness more likely. Many germs grow quickly in food held at room temperature; a tiny number can grow to a large number in just a few hours. Reheating or boiling food after it has been left at room temperature for a long time does not always make it safe because some germs produce toxins that are not destroyed by heat.              https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/production-chain.html

Resources:

What is Food Contamination?                                                                                                       https://www.foodsafety.com.au/blog/what-is-food-contamination

Food poisoning                                                                                                                           https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/food-poisoning/symptoms-causes/syc-20356230

Science Daily reported in Avoiding food contamination with a durable coating for hard surfaces:

In the future, a durable coating could help keep food-contact surfaces clean in the food processing industry, including in meat processing plants. A new study from a team of University of Missouri engineers and food scientists demonstrates that the coating — made from titanium dioxide — is capable of eliminating foodborne germs, such as salmonella and E. coli, and provides a preventative layer of protection against future cross-contamination on stainless steel food-contact surfaces.

The study was conducted by Eduardo Torres Dominguez, who is pursuing a doctorate in chemical engineering in the MU College of Engineering, and includes a team of researchers from the College of Engineering and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Dominguez is also a Fulbright scholar.

“I knew that other researchers had developed antimicrobial coatings this way, but they hadn’t focused on the coatings’ mechanical resistance or durability,” Dominguez said. “In the presence of ultraviolet light, oxygen and water, the titanium dioxide will activate to kill bacteria from the food contact surfaces on which it is applied. Although the coating is applied as a liquid at the beginning of the process, once it is ready to use it becomes a hard material, like a thin layer of ceramic.”

Heather K. Hunt, an associate professor in the College of Engineering and one of Dominguez’s advisors, guided Dominguez through the process of finding, selecting, synthesizing and characterizing the titanium dioxide material — a known disinfecting agent that is also food safe.

“We picked this material knowing it would have good antimicrobial behavior, and we strengthened its mechanical stability to withstand normal wear and tear in a typical food processing environment,” said Hunt, whose appointment is in the Department of Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering. “In addition to normal cleaning procedures, our coating can add an additional layer of prevention to help stop the spread of foodborne contamination.”

Once Dominguez developed the coating, Azlin Mustapha, a professor in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Food Science program and Dominguez’s other advisor, helped him optimize its antimicrobial, or disinfecting, properties. Matt Maschmann, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the College of Engineering, helped Dominguez optimize the material’s durability through hardness testing.

Mustapha is encouraged by the group’s progress as this could be a way to deter the spread of foodborne germs in a food processing environment.

“This will not only be helpful in the raw food processing lines of a processing plant but also ready-to-eat food lines, like deli counters, as well,” Mustapha said. “All surfaces in a food processing plant that come into contact with food are prone to be contaminated by foodborne germs spread by the handling of a contaminated food product….”                                                                                                                                        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200716111650.htm

Citation:

Avoiding food contamination with a durable coating for hard surfaces

Date:      July 16, 2020

Source:  University of Missouri-Columbia

Summary:

A new study by engineers and food scientists demonstrates that a durable coating, made from titanium dioxide, is capable of eliminating foodborne germs, such as salmonella and E. coli, and provides a preventative layer of protection against future cross-contamination on stainless steel food-contact surfaces.

Journal Reference:

Eduardo Torres Dominguez, Phong Nguyen, Annika Hylen, Matthew R. Maschmann, Azlin Mustapha, Heather K. Hunt. Design and characterization of mechanically stable, nanoporous TiO2 thin film antimicrobial coatings for food contact surfacesMaterials Chemistry and Physics, 2020; 251: 123001 DOI: 10.1016/j.matchemphys.2020.123001

Here is the press release from University of Missouri – Columbia:

NEWS RELEASE 16-JUL-2020voiding food contamination with a durable coating for hard surfaces

Coating developed by collaborative team of University of Missouri engineers and food scientists

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-COLUMBIA

In the future, a durable coating could help keep food-contact surfaces clean in the food processing industry, including in meat processing plants. A new study from a team of University of Missouri engineers and food scientists demonstrates that the coating — made from titanium dioxide — is capable of eliminating foodborne germs, such as salmonella and E. coli, and provides a preventative layer of protection against future cross-contamination on stainless steel food-contact surfaces.

The study was conducted by Eduardo Torres Dominguez, who is pursuing a doctorate in chemical engineering in the MU College of Engineering, and includes a team of researchers from the College of Engineering and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Dominguez is also a Fulbright scholar.

“I knew that other researchers had developed antimicrobial coatings this way, but they hadn’t focused on the coatings’ mechanical resistance or durability,” Dominguez said. “In the presence of ultraviolet light, oxygen and water, the titanium dioxide will activate to kill bacteria from the food contact surfaces on which it is applied. Although the coating is applied as a liquid at the beginning of the process, once it is ready to use it becomes a hard material, like a thin layer of ceramic.”

Heather K. Hunt, an associate professor in the College of Engineering and one of Dominguez’s advisors, guided Dominguez through the process of finding, selecting, synthesizing and characterizing the titanium dioxide material — a known disinfecting agent that is also food safe.

“We picked this material knowing it would have good antimicrobial behavior, and we strengthened its mechanical stability to withstand normal wear and tear in a typical food processing environment,” said Hunt, whose appointment is in the Department of Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering. “In addition to normal cleaning procedures, our coating can add an additional layer of prevention to help stop the spread of foodborne contamination.”

Once Dominguez developed the coating, Azlin Mustapha, a professor in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Food Science program and Dominguez’s other advisor, helped him optimize its antimicrobial, or disinfecting, properties. Matt Maschmann, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the College of Engineering, helped Dominguez optimize the material’s durability through hardness testing.

Mustapha is encouraged by the group’s progress as this could be a way to deter the spread of foodborne germs in a food processing environment.

“This will not only be helpful in the raw food processing lines of a processing plant but also ready-to-eat food lines, like deli counters, as well,” Mustapha said. “All surfaces in a food processing plant that come into contact with food are prone to be contaminated by foodborne germs spread by the handling of a contaminated food product.”

The researchers said this is the first step needed toward future testing of the coating’s properties in a real-world environment. Although the team has not tested it for use against the novel coronavirus, Hunt and Mustapha believe their coating has the potential to aid in helping stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in a food processing environment because of its durability and disinfecting qualities. So far, it has shown to be effective against a strain of E. coli that can be deadly in people, and more work is being done to test the coating against other disease-causing bacteria.

The study, “Design and characterization of mechanically stable, nanoporous TiO2 thin film antimicrobial coatings for food contact surfaces,” was published in Materials Chemistry and Physics. Co-authors include Phong Nguyen at MU and Annika Hylen at St. Louis University. Funding was provided by the graduate fellowship program of the Fulbright Program and the Comision Mexico-Estados Unidos para el Intercambio Educativo y Cultural (COMEXUS). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.

###

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Diana Rodriguez wrote Preventing Food Contamination which was Medically Reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH:

Unfortunately, you can’t spot bacteria-riddled food just by looking at it. And food can spoil, even if refrigerated, faster than you might think. Learning how food contamination happens, and how to keep bacteria out of your kitchen and your meals, can help keep your family safe.

What Kinds of Bacteria Are to Blame?

Certain types of bacteria are responsible for most food contamination in the United States:

  • Clostridium botulinum,which cause botulism, is found in canned, vacuum-sealed, or other packaged foods, as well as in garlic packed in oil.
  • Escherichia coli 0157:H7 ( coli)can be found in raw or undercooked ground beef, raw fruits and vegetables, unpasteurized milk, and apple juice, and can also be transmitted through human contact.
  • Salmonellais found in poultry, meat, unpastureurized milk and dairy, raw or undercooked eggs, and seafood, and may be transmitted by people who prepare food.
  • Staphylococcus aureuscan be found in any food handled by an infected person who has touched food with staph-contaminated hands.
  • Shigellacan be found in any food handled by a person touching food with hands contaminated with shigella-infected fecal matter.
  • Listeria monocytogenesis located in processed foods like deli and lunch meats and cheeses, hot dogs, some sausages, and unpasteurized milk and cheeses.
  • Clostridium perfringenscan be found in any food left at room temperature or on a warming tray or table for a significant amount of time.
  • Campylobacter jejuniis found in unpasteurized milk, poultry, shellfish, raw or undercooked meats, and contaminated water.

Many of these bacteria cause very uncomfortable symptoms such as abdominal cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea that can last from several days to more than a week. Without treatment, some of these bacteria (like Clostridium botulinium) can actually lead to death.

How Food Contamination Happens

The food we eat can be contaminated during any of the many steps it takes to get it from the farm to our table. Food contamination can occur when:

  • The animal that is eventually slaughtered for meat has bacteria in its intestinal tract.
  • Meat becomes contaminated with bacteria during the slaughter.
  • Produce is washed or watered with bacteria-contaminated water.
  • A hen’s ovaries are infected with bacteria.
  • Bacteria in ocean water contaminate the fish that live there.
  • Humans handle meat and other foods with unwashed hands during processing.
  • Food processing equipment is contaminated.
  • The same utensils are used for multiple foods, transferring bacteria from contaminated food to uncontaminated food.
  • Food is left out of the refrigerator and sits at room temperature for more than a few hours.
  • Food is left in a refrigerator for too long.

If you think there’s any chance you have food that has been contaminated, don’t risk eating it — throw it out right away….                                                                                                                                             https://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-home/preventing-food-contamination.aspx

Resources:

How to Prevent Food Poisoning                                                                                                https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/prevention.html

Types of Food Contamination                                                                                                         https://study.com/academy/lesson/types-of-food-contamination.html

How to avoid food poisoning this summer:  Summer is high season for foodborne illnesses. Use these expert tips to avoid them.                                                                   https://www.today.com/health/food-poisoning-symptoms-signs-how-tell-if-you-have-it-t187071

What is E. Coli?                                                                                                                               https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/food-poisoning/what-is-e-coli#1

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
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University of Cambridge study: Playtime with dad may improve children’s self-control

23 Jul

If you are a young unmarried woman of any color, you probably do not have the resources either emotional or financial to parent a child(ren). If you don’t care about your future, care about the future of your child. If you want to sleep with everything that has a pulse, that is your choice. BUT, you have no right to choose a life of poverty and misery for a child. As for those so called “progressives?” Just shut-up.
There are some very uncomfortable conversations ahead for the African-American community about the high rate of unwed mothers, about the care of women during pregnancy, and about early childhood education in the homes of children.Most important, about the lack the active involvement of fathers of some children.
Time to start talking. The conversation is not going to get any less difficult.

See:
We give up as a society: Jailing parents because kids are truant
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/we-give-up-as-a-society-jailing-parents-because-kids-are-truant/

Jonathan Cohn’s ‘The Two Year Window’
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/jonathan-cohns-the-two-year-window/

https://drwilda.com/tag/fathers/

https://drwilda.com/tag/father/

Science Daily reported in University of Cambridge study: Playtime with dad may improve children’s self-control

Children whose fathers make time to play with them from a very young age may find it easier to control their behaviour and emotions as they grow up, research suggests.

The study, by academics at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge and the LEGO Foundation, pulled together fragmentary evidence from the past 40 years to understand more about how fathers play with their children when they are very young (ages 0 to 3). The researchers wanted to find out whether father-child play differs from the way children play with their mothers, and its impact on children’s development.

Although there are many similarities between fathers and mothers overall, the findings suggest that fathers engage in more physical play even with the youngest children, opting for activities such as tickling, chasing, and piggy-back rides.

This seems to help children learn to control their feelings. It may also make them better at regulating their own behaviour later on, as they enter settings where those skills are important — especially school.

Paul Ramchandani, Professor of Play in Education, Development and Learning at the University of Cambridge, said: “It’s important not to overstate the impact of father-child play as there are limits to what the research can tell us, but it does seem that children who get a reasonable amount of playtime with their father benefit as a group.”

Dr Ciara Laverty, from the LEGO Foundation, said: “At a policy level, this suggests we need structures that give fathers, as well as mothers, time and space to play with their children during those critical early years. Even today, it’s not unusual for fathers who take their child to a parent-toddler group, for example, to find that they are the only father there. A culture shift is beginning to happen, but it needs to happen more.”

Parent-child play in the first years of life is known to support essential social, cognitive and communication skills, but most research focuses on mothers and infants. Studies which investigate father-child play are often small, or do so incidentally. “Our research pulled together everything we could find on the subject, to see if we could draw any lessons,” Ramchandani said.

The Cambridge review used data from 78 studies, undertaken between 1977 and 2017 — most of them in Europe or North America. The researchers analysed the combined information for patterns about how often fathers and children play together, the nature of that play, and any possible links with children’s development….        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200629120137.htm

Citation:

University of Cambridge study: Playtime with dad may improve children’s self-control

Date:        June 29, 2020

Source:    University of Cambridge

Summary:

Children whose fathers make time to play with them from a very young age may find it easier to control their behavior and emotions as they grow up, research suggests.

Journal Reference:

Annabel Amodia-Bidakowska, Ciara Laverty, Paul G. Ramchandani. Father-child play: A systematic review of its frequency, characteristics and potential impact on children’s developmentDevelopmental Review, 2020; 57: 100924 DOI: 10.1016/j.dr.2020.100924

Here is the press release from the University of Cambridge:

NEWS RELEASE 29-JUN-2020
Playtime with dad may improve children’s self-control

Children whose fathers make time to play with them from a very young age may find it easier to control their behaviour and emotions as they grow up, research suggests.

UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

Children whose fathers make time to play with them from a very young age may find it easier to control their behaviour and emotions as they grow up, research suggests.

The study, by academics at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge and the LEGO Foundation, pulled together fragmentary evidence from the past 40 years to understand more about how fathers play with their children when they are very young (ages 0 to 3). The researchers wanted to find out whether father-child play differs from the way children play with their mothers, and its impact on children’s development.

Although there are many similarities between fathers and mothers overall, the findings suggest that fathers engage in more physical play even with the youngest children, opting for activities such as tickling, chasing, and piggy-back rides.

This seems to help children learn to control their feelings. It may also make them better at regulating their own behaviour later on, as they enter settings where those skills are important – especially school.

Paul Ramchandani, Professor of Play in Education, Development and Learning at the University of Cambridge, said: “It’s important not to overstate the impact of father-child play as there are limits to what the research can tell us, but it does seem that children who get a reasonable amount of playtime with their father benefit as a group.”

Dr Ciara Laverty, from the LEGO Foundation, said: “At a policy level, this suggests we need structures that give fathers, as well as mothers, time and space to play with their children during those critical early years. Even today, it’s not unusual for fathers who take their child to a parent-toddler group, for example, to find that they are the only father there. A culture shift is beginning to happen, but it needs to happen more.”

Parent-child play in the first years of life is known to support essential social, cognitive and communication skills, but most research focuses on mothers and infants. Studies which investigate father-child play are often small, or do so incidentally. “Our research pulled together everything we could find on the subject, to see if we could draw any lessons,” Ramchandani said.

The Cambridge review used data from 78 studies, undertaken between 1977 and 2017 – most of them in Europe or North America. The researchers analysed the combined information for patterns about how often fathers and children play together, the nature of that play, and any possible links with children’s development.

On average, they found that most fathers play with their child every day. Even with the smallest children, however, father-child play tends to be more physical. With babies, that may simply mean picking them up or helping them to gently raise their limbs and exert their strength; with toddlers, fathers typically opt for boisterous, rough-and-tumble play, like chasing games.

In almost all the studies surveyed, there was a consistent correlation between father-child play and children’s subsequent ability to control their feelings. Children who enjoyed high-quality playtime with their fathers were less likely to exhibit hyperactivity, or emotional and behavioural problems. They also appeared to be better at controlling their aggression, and less prone to lash out at other children during disagreements at school.

The reason for this may be that the physical play fathers prefer is particularly well-suited for developing these skills.

“Physical play creates fun, exciting situations in which children have to apply self-regulation,” Ramchandani said. “You might have to control your strength, learn when things have gone too far – or maybe your father steps on your toe by accident and you feel cross!”

“It’s a safe environment in which children can practise how to respond. If they react the wrong way, they might get told off, but it’s not the end of the world – and next time they might remember to behave differently.”

The study also found some evidence that father-child play gradually increases through early childhood, then decreases during ‘middle childhood’ (ages 6 to 12). This, again, may be because physical play is particularly important for helping younger children to negotiate the challenges they encounter when they start to explore the world beyond their own home, in particular at school.

Despite the benefits of father-child play, the authors stress that children who only live with their mother need not be at a disadvantage.

“One of the things that our research points to time and again is the need to vary the types of play children have access to, and mothers can, of course, support physical play with young children as well,” Ramchandani added. “Different parents may have slightly different inclinations when it comes to playing with children, but part of being a parent is stepping outside your comfort zone. Children are likely to benefit most if they are given different ways to play and interact.”

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This is a problem which never should have been swept under the carpet and if the chattering classes, politicians, and elite can’t see the magnitude of this problem, they are not just brain dead, they are flat-liners. There must be a new women’s movement, this time it doesn’t involve the “me first” philosophy of the social “progressives” or the elite who in order to validate their own particular life choices espouse philosophies that are dangerous or even poisonous to those who have fewer economic resources. This movement must urge women of color to be responsible for their reproductive choices. They cannot have children without having the resources both financial and having a committed partner. For all the talk of genocide involving the response and aftermath of “Katrina,” the real genocide is self-inflicted.

So, a behavior that statistically is more damaging than consuming sugary drinks is never condemned. The child born to a single poor mother is usually condemned to follow her into a life of poverty. Yet, the same rigor of dissuasion is not applied to young impressionable women who are becoming single mothers in large numbers as is applied to regular Coke or Pepsi addicts. Personal choice is involved, some of the snarky could categorize the personal choice as moronic in both cases. Government intervention is seen as the antidote in the case of sugary drinks, but not single motherhood. Why? Because we like to pick the morons we want government to control. The fact of the matter is that government control is just as bad in the case of sugary drinks as it would be in regulating a individual’s reproductive choice. The folks like Mayor Bloomberg who want government to control some behavior really don’t want to confront the difficult, for them, political choice of promoting individual personal values and responsibility. It is much easier to legislate a illusory solution. So, the ruling elite will continue to focus on obesity, which is a major health issue, while a disaster bigger than “Katrina” and “Sandy “ sweeps across the country with disastrous results.

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