Secular Trends in Depressive Symptoms Among Norwegian Adolescents From 1992 to 2010.

Secular Trends in Depressive Symptoms Among Norwegian Adolescents from 1992 to 2010.

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2013 Jul 26;
von Soest T, Wichstrøm L

Several survey studies among adolescents have shown increasing rates of depressive symptoms over the last two to three decades. We know however little about mechanisms that might explain this increase. The present study uses data from three nationwide representative surveys of 16-17 year-old Norwegian adolescents that were conducted according to identical procedures in 1992, 2002, and 2010 (response rates 97.0, 91.0, 84.3 %, respectively). At each time point, approximately 3,000 adolescents participated (48.8 % girls and 51.2 % boys). Questionnaire data on depressive symptoms and a variety of potential risk and protective factors that might explain time trends in such symptoms were assessed at all time points. The results showed that the prevalence of high scores on depressive symptoms increased significantly between 1992 and 2002 among both boys and girls. No significant changes were observed between 2002 and 2010. The increase from 1992 to 2002 among girls and boys could be partially attributed to increases in eating problems and cannabis use, while reduced satisfaction with own appearance among girls contributed as well. Although the study does not provide information about the causal direction between putative risk factors and depressive symptoms, the results provide some indication that eating problems, cannabis use, and appearance related factors may contribute in explaining secular trends in depressive symptoms. HubMed – eating

An Application of Pavlovian Principles to the Problems of Obesity and Cognitive Decline.

Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2013 Jul 22;
Davidson TL, Sample CH, Swithers SE

An enormous amount of research has been aimed at identifying biological and environmental factors that are contributing to the current global obesity pandemic. The present paper reviews recent findings which suggest that obesity is attributable, at least in part, to a disruption of the Pavlovian control of energy regulation. Within our framework, this disruption occurs when (a) consumption of sweet-tasting, but low calorie or noncaloric, foods and beverages reduces the ability of sweet tastes to predict the postingestive caloric consequences of intake and (b) consuming diets high in saturated fat and sugar (a.k.a., Western diet) impairs hippocampal-dependent learning and memory processes that are involved with the use of interoceptive “satiety” signals to anticipate when food and eating are not followed by appetitive postingestive outcomes. The paper concludes with discussion of a “vicious-cycle’ model which links obesity to cognitive decline. HubMed – eating

Using health primes to reduce unhealthy snack purchases among overweight consumers in a grocery store.

Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Jul 26;
Papies EK, Potjes I, Keesman M, Schwinghammer S, van Koningsbruggen GM

ObjectiveHealthy eating intentions of overweight individuals are often thwarted by the presence of attractive food temptations in grocery stores and the home environment. To support healthy eating intentions, we tested the effectiveness of a simple health prime to reduce the purchases of energy-dense snack foods in a grocery store among overweight individuals.DesignThis field experiment had a 2 (condition: health prime vs. control) X 2 (weight status: overweight vs. normal weight) between participants design.MethodCustomers of a grocery store were handed a recipe flyer, that either contained a health and diet-prime, or not. Participants’ weight and height, as well as their attention to and awareness of the prime during shopping were assessed by means of a questionnaire. The purchase of unhealthy snack foods was assessed by means of the receipt.ResultsResults showed that the health prime reduced snack purchases compared to the control condition among overweight and obese participants. When primed, overweight and obese participants bought almost 75% fewer snacks than when not primed. Additional analyses showed that while the prime only worked when customers paid initial attention to the flyer that contained the health prime, no conscious awareness of the prime during grocery shopping was necessary for these effects.ConclusionThese findings suggest that health priming can lead to healthier grocery shopping among overweight consumers, without relying on conscious awareness during shopping. This makes priming a highly viable intervention tool to facilitate healthy food choices. Such tools are especially relevant in the setting of grocery shopping, given that they have direct effects on eating in the home environment and thus for longer-term weight management.International Journal of Obesity accepted article preview online, 26 July 2013. doi:10.1038/ijo.2013.136. HubMed – eating

P450 in wild animals as a biomarker of environmental impact.

Biomarkers. 2001; 6(1): 19-25
Fujita S, Chiba I, Ishizuka M, Hoshi H, Iwata H, Sakakibara A, Tanabe S, Kazusaka A, Masuda M, Masuda Y, Nakagawa H

The impact of environmental pollution on selected animals was tested by monitoring the hepatic content of cytochromes P450 and their enzyme activities or by calculating TEQ values from the concentration of pollutants in the body. Fish-eating Stellars Sea Eagles, Haliaeetus pelagicus, found dead in the northern part of Hokkaido island accumulated high levels of PCBs and DDT and metabolites. The TEQ values calculated from the PCB concentration in the eagles were high enough to cause a significant toxic effect in other birds living in the same environment. Some of these birds were also contaminated with high concentrations of lead. Spotted seals, Phoca largha, captured along the coast-line of Hokkaido accumulated PCBs in their fat at about 100 million times the concentrations in the surface sea water. The levels of expressions of hepatic microsomal CYP 1A1and related enzyme activities in these seals showed good correlation to the levels of PCBs accumulated in the fat. The fresh water crabs, Eriocheir japonicus, were captured from three different rivers with various degrees of pollution. The P450 content and the related enzyme activities showed good correlation to TEQ values obtained from the concentrations of PCBs and PCDDs in the crabs from the rivers. The wild rodents, Clethrionomys rufocanus, were captured from urban, agricultural, and forest areas in Hokkaido. Those from the forest area had the lowest CYP content and related enzyme activities, comparable to those in laboratory-raised animals. Those from the urban areas, presumably contaminated with PAHs from fuel combustion, showed increased CYP 1A1 content and related enzyme activities. Those from the agricultural areas showed increased levels of CYP 1A1, 2B, 2E1. Rats treated with some of the agrochemicals used in the area resulted in a similar pattern of induction. It is concluded that P450 can be a useful biomarker for assessing the environmental impact of chemical pollutants on wild animals. HubMed – eating

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