Seasonality in Seeking Mental Health Information on Google.

Seasonality in Seeking Mental Health Information on Google.

Am J Prev Med. 2013 May; 44(5): 520-525
Ayers JW, Althouse BM, Allem JP, Rosenquist JN, Ford DE

BACKGROUND: Population mental health surveillance is an important challenge limited by resource constraints, long time lags in data collection, and stigma. One promising approach to bridge similar gaps elsewhere has been the use of passively generated digital data. PURPOSE: This article assesses the viability of aggregate Internet search queries for real-time monitoring of several mental health problems, specifically in regard to seasonal patterns of seeking out mental health information. METHODS: All Google mental health queries were monitored in the U.S. and Australia from 2006 to 2010. Additionally, queries were subdivided among those including the terms ADHD (attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder); anxiety; bipolar; depression; anorexia or bulimia (eating disorders); OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder); schizophrenia; and suicide. A wavelet phase analysis was used to isolate seasonal components in the trends, and based on this model, the mean search volume in winter was compared with that in summer, as performed in 2012. RESULTS: All mental health queries followed seasonal patterns with winter peaks and summer troughs amounting to a 14% (95% CI=11%, 16%) difference in volume for the U.S. and 11% (95% CI=7%, 15%) for Australia. These patterns also were evident for all specific subcategories of illness or problem. For instance, seasonal differences ranged from 7% (95% CI=5%, 10%) for anxiety (followed by OCD, bipolar, depression, suicide, ADHD, schizophrenia) to 37% (95% CI=31%, 44%) for eating disorder queries in the U.S. Several nonclinical motivators for query seasonality (such as media trends or academic interest) were explored and rejected. CONCLUSIONS: Information seeking on Google across all major mental illnesses and/or problems followed seasonal patterns similar to those found for seasonal affective disorder. These are the first data published on patterns of seasonality in information seeking encompassing all the major mental illnesses, notable also because they likely would have gone undetected using traditional surveillance. HubMed – eating


Pre-Sliced Fruit in School Cafeterias: Children’s Selection and Intake.

Am J Prev Med. 2013 May; 44(5): 477-480
Wansink B, Just DR, Hanks AS, Smith LE

BACKGROUND: It is often assumed that children avoid fruit in school cafeterias because of higher relative prices and preferences for other foods. Interviews with children reveal that eating whole fresh fruit can be difficult for those with small mouths or braces. Older girls find whole fruits messy and unattractive to eat. PURPOSE: To determine the effect of offering pre-sliced fruit in schools on selection and intake. DESIGN: Three of six schools were assigned randomly to serve apples in slices. Three control schools served apples whole. Selection, consumption, and waste of apples were measured prior to and during treatment. SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Cafeterias in six public middle schools in Wayne County NY in 2011. Participants included all students who purchased lunch on days when data were collected. INTERVENTION: Treatment schools were provided with a standard commercial fruit slicer, and cafeteria staff members were instructed to use it when students requested apples. Trained researchers recorded how much of each apple was consumed and how much was wasted in both control and treatment schools. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Daily apple sales, percentage of an apple serving consumed per student, and percentage of an apple serving wasted per student. RESULTS: Data were analyzed in 2012. Schools that used fruit slicers to pre-slice fruit increased average daily apple sales by 71% compared to control schools (p<0.01). The percentage of students who selected apples and ate more than half increased by 73% (p=0.02) at schools that served pre-sliced fruit, and the percentage that wasted half or more decreased by 48% (p=0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Sliced fruit is more appealing to children than whole fruit because it is easier and tidier to eat. This study applies the principle of convenience from behavioral economics and provides an example of a scalable, low-cost environmental change that promotes healthy eating and decreases waste. HubMed – eating


A review of the father-child relationship in the development and maintenance of adolescent anorexia and bulimia nervosa.

Issues Compr Pediatr Nurs. 2013 Apr 18;
Gale CJ, Cluett ER, Laver-Bradbury C

There are disproportionately fewer studies examining the role of the father in the development of child and adolescent psychopathology. This is pertinent in the field of eating disorders, where there is a wealth of research related to family influences and the value of family-based interventions. This article reviews the key themes within the literature around the potential impact of the father-child relationship on the development and maintenance of Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa in young people. The critical review searched relevant health and social care databases, as well as manually searching key journals in the eating disorder field. In these results, 13 studies met the inclusion/exclusion criteria and were critiqued, with 8 being taken forward for discussion. The 8 studies identified key themes within the relationship of the father and child (particularly daughters) around conflict and communication, parental protection and psychological control, emotional regulation and self-esteem, and self-perfectionism. All of these factors appear to influence the child’s level of self-determining autonomy, which in turn can impact maladaptive eating attitudes and psychopathology. Tentative recommendations are made around working with fathers to encourage free expression of ideas and foster a sense of autonomy through compromise and collaboration with their adolescent child. Further research around these themes in relation to other family members is also suggested. HubMed – eating



Eating Disorders Clinic at Lakeridge Health – Joanne and Audrey share their inspirational stories, and how their outlook toward food has changed with the help of the Lakeridge Health Eating Disorders Cli…