Wednesday, May 6, 2009

HOPE (Health promotion through Obesity Prevention across Europe) reported its progress

In a preconference workshop at the European Congress on Obesity (ECO), organised by the European Association of the Study of Obesity, the HOPE project held its 2nd ‘Network of Networks’ meeting. HOPE stands for Health promotion through Obesity Prevention across Europe, and it’s a European Commission funded research project that aims to aims to bring the scientific knowledge on overweight, obesity and their determinants together and use the expertise of researchers all over Europe to help to tackle the obesity epidemic.
More specifically HOPE aimed to carry out quantitative analyses, modelling and systematic reviews on obesogenic physical activity and nutrition behaviours, their environmental determinants, consequences on health and health inequalities among children and adults, and prevention interventions, in order to provide an evidence-based inventory of best practices for the development of evidence-based policies and interventions for obesity prevention across the European Union.
We are now in the final stages of the HOPE project. We are now finalizing a series of systematic reviews, a series of scientific papers on secondary analyses, as well as epidemiological modelling to present scenario’s of what may happen to the obesity epidemic and its consequences on health and disability, if evidence-based interventions and policies are implemented across Europe.
These scientific reports will soon be submitted as deliverables to the European Commission, as well as to international scientific journals for peer review and publication.
At the Network of Network meeting, that I co-chaired with professor Philip James, we presented our results and the translation of these results into concrete policy recommendations to an audience of scientists, policy advisors, and government officials. We will use their feedback to fine tune our conclusions and recommendations that will be available via our website in the next few months.
Click here for some pictures of the presenters, discussants and audience at the HOPE meeting.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Experts see more in health protection than health education to help to prevent MP3 player-induced hearing loss among adolescents.

Hearing loss among adolescents is a growing concern. Exposure to loud music via personal MP3 players is one of the important risk behaviours. What can be done about this? To explore the potential determinants of engaging in such music-listening behaviour and possible intervention strategies to change such behaviours, Ineke Vogel conducted a series of studies, combining quantitative and qualitative research among adolescents as well as potential ‘intermediaries’ for preventive interventions. One of her studies was recently published in the journal Pediatrics.
In order to identify parties involved in the prevention of MP3-induced hearing loss among adolescents and potentially effective prevention strategies and interventions, thirty experts in fields such as scientific research, medical practice, community health professions, education, youth work, music entertainment, and enforcement authorities participated in a qualitative, electronic, 3-round, Web-based Delphi study.
Multiple parties involved in the prevention of MP3-induced hearing loss among adolescents were identified; the most relevant are the adolescents themselves, their parents, manufacturers of MP3 players and earphones, and governmental authorities. The experts did not expect that adolescents in general would perform the necessary protective behaviours to prevent MP3-induced hearing loss. Two environmental health protection measures were identified as both relevant and feasible to be implemented. The authors conclude that authorities, the music industry in general, and especially manufacturers of MP3 players and earphones should recognize their responsibility and create a safer MP3-listening environment by taking measures to protect today's youth from the dangers of listening to high-volume music on MP3 players.