Dr. Glanz named to new NAS committee to review the science on sunscreen, coral reefs, and cancer prevention

Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, a George A. Weiss University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has been named to a new National Academy of Sciences committee: Committee on Environmental Impact of Currently Marketed Sunscreens and Potential Human Impacts of Changes in Sunscreen Usage. The study is sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and managed by the Ocean Studies Board and the National Academy of Medicine’s Health and Medicine Division. This study will review the state of science on the use of currently marketed sunscreen ingredients, their fate and effects in aquatic environments, and the potential public health implications associated with changes in sunscreen usage.

Why is the study being done? 

Concerns have been raised about the potential toxicity of sunscreens to a variety of marine and freshwater aquatic organisms, particularly corals. At the same time, there are concerns that people will use less sunscreen rather than substituting sunscreens with UV filters that are considered environmentally safe.

Karen Glanz has been conducting research in skin cancer prevention for more than 25 years.  She is internationally recognized as a leader in the study of human behavior related to sun protection, and commercial aspects of sunscreen sales and purchases.

Community-Driven Research Day

Please join us for the 11th annual Community-Driven Research Day, co-sponsored by the Center for Violence Prevention. The event will be held virtually on Thursday, 2/11 from 10am-12:30pm with a theme of Resilience and Action to Improve Health. The keynote speaker will be Barbara Israel, DrPh of the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health and the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center.

The goal of Community-Driven Research Day is to encourage collaboration between university-based research partners and community-based organizations (CBOs) who have research questions that they are interested in answering. Through virtual presentations in themed breakout sessions, CBOs and community groups will highlight their questions to researchers from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, The University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Drexel University, Thomas Jefferson University, and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. CBOs, community groups, academic researchers, and students will be able to virtually meet and discuss mutually-beneficial collaborations. This is a great opportunity for your community organization to connect with academic researchers who have an interest in community/academic partnerships around public health concerns such as violence prevention, poverty, homelessness, food insecurity, health and wellness, etc.

Following the event, up to eight $10,000 pilot grants will be made available to support interdisciplinary, community-based participatory research in health. The available funding is limited to presenters of Community-Driven Research Day in partnership with faculty of CHOP, Penn, Temple, Drexel, Jefferson, and PCOM.

Additional information can be found here. Community-Based Organizations interested in presenting can register HERE (the deadline has just been extended to 1/29/21 ).

Webinar: Community Health and Economic Prosperity

Save the Date: 9/9/2020 at 1:00-2:30 PM EST for Community Health & Economic Prosperity –


Join Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH, along with top leaders in the field of community health from Penn and beyond, as they discuss opportunities for the food industry to create a healthy and equitable food system. The webinar will be held September 9, 2020 from 1:00 – 2:30 PM, and is sponsored by the following.

Registration is limited, details here

A Systematic Review of Nutrition Policies in Schools

School administrators and public health officials are important players in the choices our children make during meals at school. This evidence review of environmental and policy strategies to improve school nutrition from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) helps decision-makers find the right program to achieve healthy outcomes in their schools. UPenn PRC Director and George A. Weiss University Professor, Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH worked with colleagues from the Community Preventive Services Task Force (known as the “Community Guide”), to conduct systematic reviews of the evidence about four types of interventions, evaluating their effectiveness in promoting healthy dietary behaviors and weight.

 

The first review assessed the availability of healthy foods and beverages for lunch or snacks at school. The second examined the healthy options sold or offered in schools, such as at fundraisers, in vending machines, and at snack bars. The third review looked at a combination of the strategies examined in the first two reviews, and the fourth evaluated the access to safe, free drinking water in schools.

 

Studies were included in the review if the primary setting was in schools, programs or policies were aimed at obesity prevention or healthy weight promotion to the general student population, took place in kindergarten through high school, and reported a dietary or weight-related outcome estimated to be at least six months after the intervention program or policy began.

 

After filtering through over 27,000 studies, reviewers identified 54 studies that matched the criteria. Among these studies, they found evidence of effectiveness for preventing or maintaining healthy weight status with two intervention approaches:  improving the availability of healthy food and beverages for lunch or snacks at school, and multicomponent interventions including healthier meals and snacks.

 

Read more about the data extraction, the outcomes of interest, and the evidence of effectiveness in the full article, published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, July 2020 issue.


 

 

 

 

Wethington H, Finnie R, Buchanan L, Okasako-Schmucker D, Mercer S, Merlo C, Wang Y, Pratt C, Ochiai E, Glanz K, the Community Preventive Services Task Force. Healthier Food and Beverage Interventions in Schools: Four Community Guide Systematic Reviews. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, July 2020; 59(1): e15-e26.

 

COVID-19 Risk Perception, Knowledge, and Behaviors in 6 States

In May 2020, UPenn PRC Director, Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, received one of the thirteen COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Grants from Penn’s Leonard Davis Institute. 

The study aim is to assess individuals’ risk perceptions, knowledge, and behaviors related to prevention of COVID-19, response to the pandemic, and psychological impacts of quarantine and/or diagnosis of COVID-19. Primary outcomes are: individuals’ behaviors, risk perceptions, knowledge, and behaviors related to prevention and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Secondary outcomes are: changes in risk perceptions, knowledge, and behaviors about the COVID-19 pandemic over time, by geographic area, and by personal experience with the disease.

Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH

Principal Investigator:
Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH

John Holmes, PhD

Co-Investigator:
John Holmes, PhD