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The Preventing Chronic Disease journal welcomes comments from readers on selected published articles to encourage dialogue between chronic disease prevention, researchers, practitioners and advocates.

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The Impact of Cooking Classes on Food-Related Preferences, Attitudes, and Behaviors of School-Aged Children: A Systematic Review of the Evidence, 2003–2014

SYSTEMATIC REVIEW

Derek Hersch, BS; Laura Perdue, MPH, RD; Teresa Ambroz, MPH, RD; Jackie L. Boucher, MS, RD, CDE

Suggested citation for this article: Hersch D, Perdue L, Ambroz T, Boucher JL. The Impact of Cooking Classes on Food-Related Preferences, Attitudes, and Behaviors of School-Aged Children: A Systematic Review of the Evidence, 2003–2014. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:140267. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140267External Web Site Icon.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

Introduction
Cooking programs have been used to promote healthful eating among people of all ages. This review assesses the evidence on childhood cooking programs and their association with changes in food-related preferences, attitudes, and behaviors of school-aged children.

Methods
We systematically searched PubMed, Ovid-Medline, and CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) databases. We included primary research articles that involved cooking education programs for children and searched reference lists for eligible articles. Studies considered for review contained a hands-on cooking intervention; had participants aged 5 to 12 years; were published in a peer-reviewed journal on or after January 1, 2003; and were written in English. We used the Effective Public Health Practice Project Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies to rate the strength of each article and assess bias. The following information was extracted from each study: study design, sample size, location, duration, intervention components, data collection methods, and outcomes.

Results
Eight studies met the inclusion criteria and used cooking education to influence children’s food-related preferences, attitudes, and behaviors. Programs varied in duration, evaluation methods, and outcomes of interest. Self-reported food preparation skills, dietary intake, cooking confidence, fruit and vegetable preferences, attitudes toward food and cooking, and food-related knowledge were among the outcomes measured. Program exposure ranged from 2 sessions to regular instruction over 2 years, and the effect of cooking programs on children’s food-related preferences, attitudes, and behaviors varied among the reviewed studies.

Conclusions
Findings suggest that cooking programs may positively influence children’s food-related preferences, attitudes, and behaviors. However, because study measurements varied widely, determining best practices was difficult. Further research is needed to fill knowledge gaps on ideal program length, long-term effects, and usefulness of parent engagement, tasting lessons, and other intervention components.

You Can Quit—Celebrate the Great American Smokeout on November 20th

 

This year’s Great American Smokeout, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, coincides with the release of the 2013 National Youth Tobacco Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Great American Smokeout is an annual event that we at CDC, especially those of us in the Office on Smoking and Health, always look forward to.

Reducing tobacco use is one of CDC Director Dr Tom Frieden’s “Winnable Battles.” Despite continued progress, tobacco companies’ aggressive and evolving marketing efforts pose a continuing challenge to the tobacco control community.

Using legalistic terms to affix the “cigar” label to something that is really more of a cigarette and using tax loopholes to charge less for these products are examples of industry tactics to promote tobacco use, especially among impressionable and cost-conscious young people. Our data show that 90% of smokers tried their first cigarette before the age of 18. Moreover, most adolescent smokers wrongly believe they can quit anytime. Sadly, two-thirds of them never do and as adults face the tragic prospects of sickness, disability, disfigurement, and early death from smoking-related disease.

If current trends continue, about one BILLION people worldwide will die in the 21st century because of tobacco use. And, as physicians who treats tobacco-caused cancer, COPD, or heart disease know, these deaths are horrible for the patients, their families, and the caregivers who walk with them those final miles.

I encourage you to log on to www.cdc.gov/tips and see the moving stories of former smokers who have experienced the ravages of smoking-related disease. Sadly, 3 of these outspoken heroes—Terri, Nathan, and Bill—have passed away since their appearance in our Tips From Former Smokers campaign.

If you use tobacco or have influence over someone who does, please join CDC and the American Cancer Society in supporting the 2014 Great American Smokeout. The life you may help save could be yours or that of someone you love.

 

Tim McAfee, MD, MPH

Director, Office on Smoking and Health

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Improving Blood Pressure Control in a Large Multiethnic California Population Through Changes in Health Care Delivery, 2004–2012

BRIEF

Kate M. Shaw, MS; Joel Handler, MD; Hilary K. Wall, MPH; Michael H. Kanter, MD

Suggested citation for this article: Shaw KM, Handler J, Wall HK, Kanter MH. Improving Blood Pressure Control in a Large Multiethnic California Population Through Changes in Health Care Delivery, 2004–2012. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:140173. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140173External Web Site Icon.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

The Kaiser Permanente Southern California (Kaiser) health care system succeeded in improving hypertension control in a multiethnic population by adopting a series of changes in health care delivery. Data from the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) was used to assess blood pressure control from 2004 through 2012. Hypertension control increased overall from 54% to 86% during that period, and 80% or more in every subgroup, regardless of race/ethnicity, preferred language, or type of health insurance plan. Health care delivery changes improved hypertension control across a large multiethnic population, which indicates that health care systems can achieve a clinical target goal of 70% for hypertension control in their populations.

Use of Market Research Data by State Chronic Disease Programs, Illinois, 2012–2014

SPECIAL TOPIC

Nancy L. Amerson, MPH; Benjamin S. Arbise, MPH, CHES; Nora K. Kelly, MPH; Elizabeth Traore, MPH

Suggested citation for this article: Amerson NL, Arbise BS, Kelly NK, Traore E. Use of Market Research Data by State Chronic Disease Programs, Illinois, 2012–2014. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:140268. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140268External Web Site Icon.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

Market research data complement traditional epidemiologic data by allowing users to examine health behavior and patterns by census block or census tract. Market research data can identify products and behaviors that align or do not align with public health program goals. Illinois is a recipient of an award from the Directors of Health Promotion and Education to use industry market research data collected by The Nielsen Company for public health purposes. Illinois creates customized community profiles using market research data on tobacco use characteristics to describe the demographics, habits, and media preferences of smokers in certain locations. Local agencies use profiles to plan and target marketing initiatives, reach disparate groups within overall community populations, and restructure program objectives and policy initiatives. Local market research data provide detailed information on the characteristics of smokers, allowing Illinois communities to design public health programs without having to collect data on their own.

Evaluation of the Placement of Mobile Fruit and Vegetable Vendors to Alleviate Food Deserts in New York City

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Kathleen Y. Li, BS; Ellen K. Cromley, PhD; Ashley M. Fox, PhD; Carol R. Horowitz, MD, MPH

Suggested citation for this article: Li KY, Cromley EK, Fox AM, Horowitz CR. Evaluation of the Placement of Mobile Fruit and Vegetable Vendors to Alleviate Food Deserts in New York City. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:140086. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140086External Web Site Icon.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

Introduction
In 2008, the New York City (NYC) health department licensed special mobile produce vendors (Green Carts) to increase access to fruits and vegetables in neighborhoods with the lowest reported fruit and vegetable consumption and the highest obesity rates. Because economic incentives may push vendors to locate in more trafficked, less produce-deprived areas, we examined characteristics of areas with and without Green Carts to explore whether Carts are positioned to reach the intended populations.

Toward an Integrated Public Health Approach for Epilepsy in the 21st Century

SPECIAL TOPIC

Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH; Rosemarie Kobau, MPH; Vicky H. Whittemore, PhD; Marie Y. Mann, MD, MPH; Jennifer G. Johnson, EdD; Joseph D. Hutter, MD; Wanda K. Jones, DrPH

Suggested citation for this article: Koh HK, Kobau R, Whittemore VH, Mann MY, Johnson JG, Hutter JD, et al. Toward an Integrated Public Health Approach for Epilepsy in the 21st Century. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:140270. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140270External Web Site Icon.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

Epilepsy, a complex spectrum of disorders, merits enhanced public health action. In 2012, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a seminal report on the public health dimensions of the epilepsies, recommending actions in 7 domains. The report urged a more integrated and coordinated national approach for care centering on the whole patient, including heightened attention to comorbidities and quality of life; more timely referral and access to treatments; and improved community resources, education, stakeholder collaboration, and public communication. The US Department of Health and Human Services responded to this report by accelerating and integrating ongoing initiatives and beginning new ones. This article summarizes recent federally supported activities promoting an integrated public health approach for epilepsy, highlighting progress in response to the landmark 2012 IOM report and identifying opportunities for continued public health action.

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Placing Workplace Wellness in Proper Context: Value Beyond Money

ESSAY

Nicolaas P. Pronk, PhD, MA

Suggested citation for this article: Pronk NP. Placing Workplace Wellness in Proper Context: Value Beyond Money. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:140128. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140128External Web Site Icon.

Most companies in the United States now offer some kind of wellness programming to their employees. In 2012, about half of US employers with at least 50 employees and more than 90% with more than 50,000 employees offered a workplace wellness program (1).

Employer surveys (eg, the 2011 Automatic Data Processing Survey) suggest that the most often-cited reasons for offering these programs include improved employee health, health care cost control, increased productivity, and absenteeism reduction. Each of these reasons is quantifiable, and their value can be monetized, allowing for a calculation of savings and an estimation of a return on investment (ROI).

Innovative and Community-Driven Communication Practices of the South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network

SPECIAL TOPIC

Daniela B. Friedman, PhD; Heather M. Brandt, PhD, CHES; Darcy A. Freedman, PhD; Swann Arp Adams, PhD; Vicki M. Young, PhD; John R. Ureda, DrPH; James Lyndon McCracken, MA; James R. Hébert, ScD

Suggested citation for this article: Friedman DB, Brandt HM, Freedman DA, Adams SA, Young VM, Ureda JR, et al. Innovative and Community-Driven Communication Practices of the South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:140151. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140151External Web Site Icon.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

The South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (SC-CPCRN) is 1 of 10 networks funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that works to reduce cancer-related health disparities. In partnership with federally qualified health centers and community stakeholders, the SC-CPCRN uses evidence-based approaches (eg, NCI Research-tested Intervention Programs) to disseminate and implement cancer prevention and control messages, programs, and interventions. We describe the innovative stakeholder- and community-driven communication efforts conducted by the SC-CPCRN to improve overall health and reduce cancer-related health disparities among high-risk and disparate populations in South Carolina. We describe how our communication efforts are aligned with 5 core values recommended for dissemination and implementation science: 1) rigor and relevance, 2) efficiency and speed, 3) collaboration, 4) improved capacity, and 5) cumulative knowledge.

Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Among US Adults in 6 States: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2011

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Sohyun Park, PhD; Liping Pan, MD, MPH; Bettylou Sherry, PhD, RD; Heidi M. Blanck, PhD

Suggested citation for this article: Park S, Pan L, Sherry B, Blanck HM. Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Among US Adults in 6 States: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2011. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:130304. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.130304.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

Introduction
Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake is linked to weight gain. Our objective was to examine state-specific SSB intake and behavioral characteristics associated with SSB intake.

Flavored Tobacco Use Among Canadian Students in Grades 9 Through 12: Prevalence and Patterns From the 2010–2011 Youth Smoking Survey

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Leia M. Minaker, PhD; Rashid Ahmed, PhD; David Hammond, PhD; Steve Manske, EdD

Suggested citation for this article: Minaker LM, Ahmed R, Hammond D, Manske S. Flavored Tobacco Use Among Canadian Students in Grades 9 Through 12: Prevalence and Patterns From the 2010–2011 Youth Smoking Survey. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:140094. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140094.

PEER REVIEWED

Abstract

Introduction
This study examined patterns of use of flavored tobacco products in a nationally generalizable sample of Canadian students in grades 9 through 12 after the implementation of a national ban on certain flavored tobacco products.

Methods
Data from the 2010–2011 Youth Smoking Survey, a nationally generalizable sample of Canadian students in grades 9 through 12 (n = 31,396), were used to examine tobacco product use. Logistic regression models were used to examine differences in use of flavored tobacco products (cigarettes, pipes, little cigars or cigarillos, cigars, roll-your-own cigarettes, bidis, smokeless tobacco, water pipes, and blunt wraps) by sociodemographic and regional characteristics.

Results
Approximately 52% of young tobacco users used flavored products in the previous 30 days. Flavored tobacco use varied by product type and ranged from 32% of cigarette smokers reporting menthol smoking to 70% of smokeless tobacco users reporting using flavored product in the previous 30 days. The percentage of last-30-day users who used flavored tobacco was significantly higher in Quebec than in Ontario and significantly higher among youths who received weekly spending money than among those who received no money.

Conclusion
More than half of tobacco users in grades 9 through 12 in Canada use flavored tobacco, despite a national ban on certain flavored tobacco products.

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