Making progress in the area of food insecurity & nutrition environments

NIH Virtual Workshop banner

On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, UPenn PRC director, Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, co-chaired an NIH (trans-NIH) workshop called Food Insecurity, Neighborhood Food Environment, and Nutrition Health Disparities: State of the Science.  It was presented virtually for three days, and had over 3,500 registered participants. There were nine sessions, including lively panel discussions. These discussions gave the speakers an opportunity to address attendees’ questions.

Angela Odoms-Young, PhD, also co-chaired the event. Dr. Odoms-Young is an Associate Professor, in the Division of Nutritional Sciences, College of Human Ecology/College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, at Cornell University.

All live content is available for viewing until September 2022

The Labroots event portal.

Angela Odoms-Young, PhD and Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, co-chairs and moderators of the workshop.

Overview

Participants viewed three days of presentations and panel discussions. On Day 3, Dr. Glanz shared key takeaways with the following observations.

 

First, “health equity is defined as the absence of unfair and avoidable or remediable differences in health among population groups defined socially, economically, demographically or geographically.”

Health equity means increasing opportunities for everyone to live the healthiest life possible, no matter who we are, where we live, or how much money we make. (RWJF)

In addition, relationships between walkability & activity inequality hold within cities in the USA of similar income, meaning, walkable environments lead to lower activity inequality.

Dr. Glanz believes that to make significant progress in the area of food insecurity & nutrition environments we need the following:

  • Innovation & flexibility
  • Collaboration & coordination
  • Balance internal & external validity
  • Address supply AND demand
  • Study individual & aggregate effects
  • Always think about people in need

 

Lastly, increasing the fluidity between research, policy and practice at the Federal level, such as the NIH, USDA, CDC, and other agencies. State and local levels can address nutrition, health, housing, safety, and economic development.

 

We can create equity by incentivizing collaboration, not competition, such as the Gates Foundation global initiatives.

In Conclusion

Dr. Glanz closed her summary with two encouraging quotes.

 

…Science and technology are powerful tools, but we must decide how best to use them. Perhaps the most important point is to ensure that science never becomes divorced from the basic human feeling of empathy with our fellow beings.

Dalai Lama

The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality (2006)

Work hard,
Work smart,
And always have fun

 

Matt Wilpers

Peloton

You can see an agenda of the event here. Attendee and presenter comments, including highlights from the presentations can be seen by clicking the #NIHNutrtionEquity hashtag in Twitter. The video captured of the 3-day event will be available on October 7, 2021.

 

Healthy Weigh Study Results

What strategy works better for weight loss in overweight employees?

  • Financial incentives
  • Environment change strategies
  • A combination of the two,
  • On-your-own weight-loss efforts

 

Drs. Karen Glanz and Kevin Volpp, along with the team at the UPenn PRC, found that participants in all groups lost weight. Incidentally, the financial incentives group lost slightly more weight, but none of the strategies netted significantly greater weight losses than the others. The results from their Healthy Weigh Study are currently published in the September 2021 edition of JAMA Network Open.

 

In 2015, the University of Pennsylvania Prevention Research Center (UPenn PRC) conducted a study to test strategies to achieve weight loss and maintain weight loss in urban worksites in Philadelphia.

First, researchers collected data on participants who earned daily financial rewards, in addition to those guided on positive changes to their environment.

Second, they compared each strategy, separately and together, to see which one helped the participants achieve weight-loss.

Third, the team compared that data to those who tried to lose weight on their own.

Ultimately, the goal of the study was to manage obesity by improving nutrition and physical activity, in order to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic health conditions.

 

 

 

 

JAMA Healthy Weigh_visual

Publication

Glanz K, Shaw P, Kwong P, Choi J, Chung A, Zhu J, Huang Q, Hoffer K, Volpp K. Effect of Financial Incentives and Environmental Strategies on Weight Loss in The Healthy Weigh Study: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Network Open 2021;4(9): e2124132. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.24132

Assessing and Addressing Nutrition and Health in our Communities

Learn more and register for this 3-day workshop addressing food insecurity, neighborhood food environment, and nutrition health disparities.

Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH is among the organizers and will be participating in this important event. The goal is to review the state of the science, identify research gaps and opportunities related to food insecurity and the neighborhood food environment, and suggest innovative research strategies that will inform policy and practice to address and prevent diet-related health disparities and promote health equity.

The virtual event is hosted by the National Institutes of Health, admission is free, and it is open to the public.

2021 Community Scholars Symposium and Pitch Presentation

The Intersection of Community, Academia, and Grant-Making

Friday, April 9, 2021


9:00AM – 12PM (Virtual)

 

Register for the fifth annual Penn Community Scholars Symposium: The Intersection of Community, Academia, and Grant-Making. This symposium offers insights into developing, pitching, and funding innovative project ideas that utilize community-academic partnerships, while offering an opportunity for networking among community, academics, and grant-makers. Pitches are judged by a panel of funders and academics and the top three presenters will receive a financial award.

Meet the Community Scholars:

Erin Davison, Philadelphia Legal Assistance

Jule Anne Henstenburg, MANNA

Andy Kucer, Students Run Philly Style

Colin MacFarlane, Nationalities Service Center

Sam Margolis, Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia

Anthony Singleton, Educators 4 Education

Ashli Stephens, Worth Womb Work Inc.

 

Keynote Speakers:

Vanessa Briggs, Brandywine Health Foundation

Lynette Medley, No More Secrets

 

Expert Panel:

Victoria Cargill, MD, MSCE, Baltimore City Health Department

Heather Falck, IBC Foundation Programs

Ann Marie Healy, Philadelphia Health Partnership

Laura Kind McKenna, The Patricia Kind Family Foundation

Raina Merchant, MD, UPenn

Douglas Wiebe, PhD, UPenn

 

The Penn community Scholars program is supported by the Penn Injury Science Center with funding from the Office of the Provost of the University of Pennsylvania.

Research Day 2021 – Virtual & Open to the Public

Former US Preventive Services Task Force Chief Inspires Real Change: Join Us!

The U.S. lags behind other developed nations in many health outcomes. How can we move from potential to actual health improvement? Be our guest virtually for DBEI & CCEB Research Day on March 24 and hear our 1:30 p.m.keynote by Sue Curry, PhD, former chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, and an expert on translating research into policy. Find a detailed schedule, create an account, and register here.

 Attend the full event from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and be with us as:

* Our top 10 poster presenters give five-minute flash talks and compete for prizes.
* Faculty members share their high-impact research.

  • Biostatistics: Hongzhe Li, PhD: Interrogating the Gut Microbiome — Estimation of Growth Rates and Prediction of Biosynthetic Gene Clusters.
  • Pamela Shaw, PhD: Efficient Study Designs for the Analysis of Error-Prone Electronic Health Record (EHR) Data.
  • Epidemiology: Sean Hennessy, PharmD, PhD: Medicines as Thermo-Protectants?
  • Informatics: Blanca Himes, PhD: Enhancing Electronic Health Record Data to Address Health Disparities.
  • Dr. Curry presents “Population Health: Making Science Matter,” the Brian L. Strom Visiting Professorship Lecture. Dr. Curry is an emeritus Dean and Distinguished Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy of the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Learn more and register for the event here.

 

 

Dr. Glanz named to new NAS committee

National collaboration on sunscreen science

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

Information can be found here.

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

Virtual Presentations

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

Making connections

The goal of the event is to encourage collaboration between university-based research partners and community-based organizations (CBOs). A connection will be made through virtual presentations in themed breakout sessions, where CBOs and community groups will highlight their questions to researchers. Experts will be available from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, The University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Drexel University, Thomas Jefferson University, and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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. Topics include, violence prevention, poverty, homelessness, food insecurity, health and wellness, etc.

Funding the future

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.

 

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

 

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

ACC Population Science Research Seminar, February 20, 2020

Join us next Thursday, February 20th for the ACC Population Science Seminar – “Helping Parents Quit Smoking in Pediatric Settings”.
Please reply with your RSVP by Monday, February 17th.

The Cancer Control Program is one of two Population Science Research Programs of the Abramson Cancer Center. Program members work intra- and inter-Programmatically to apply advances in science to population health and cutting-edge data analytics, address the cancer burdens and risk factors in our catchment area, and train the next generation of cancer control researchers.

Monthly Abramson Cancer Center Population Science Research Seminars are sponsored by:

 

UPenn PRC helps to accelerate implementation of evidence-based cancer prevention and control

Accelerate progress

The Evidence Academy model was developed to bring together researchers, health professionals, advocates, and policy makers to accelerate the process of integrating research findings into practice.

Bringing in the experts

The University of Pennsylvania Collaborating Center of the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) assembled local and national experts in three different Evidence Academies (EAs) on the UPenn campus from 2015 to 2018.

The EAs were used to present research and discuss barriers and solutions to topics that affect the health of our communities. As a result, an article describing three evidence academies and the lessons learned was just published in the journal Preventive Medicine.

The Topics

The focus of the Evidence Academies were:
Prostate cancer (2015)
Food access, diet and obesity (2017)
Tobacco control science (2018)

The paper on these EAs is a part of a special supplemental issue, produced by the CPCRN which is funded by the CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control and the National Cancer Institute.

The goal of the network is to reduce the impact of cancers that affects all communities, by connecting public health practitioners, policymakers, and others to the research and strategies found to be most effective. Twelve articles come from centers across the United States linked by a common cause, “reducing cancer burden in diverse populations.”

The cancer prevention and control research network: Accelerating the implementation of evidence-based cancer prevention and control interventions (Guest Editor Commentary). Leeman J, Glanz K, Hannon P, Shannon J.

An application of the Science Impact Framework to the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network from 2014-2018. Ko LK, Jang SH, Friedman DB, Glanz K, Leeman J, Hannon PA, Shannon J, Cole A, Williams R, Vu T.

*This issue is open access

How many ways do you protect yourself from harmful UV rays?

Skin cancer prevention practices aim to reduce exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that causes skin cancer. There are several behaviors that can protect the skin from the harmful radiation – using sunscreen, wearing hats and shirts, and seeking shade.

The Study

Researchers at Penn conducted an experiment with white men and women between the ages of 18 – 49 years old, to see if specific health communication messages would change their intentions to protect themselves from the sun.

Researchers asked participants to watch videos, and then to report whether they would be more or less likely to use the protection method featured. They also viewed messages that contained more than one protective behavior.

The Findings

The results of the experiment showed that messages which emphasized only one sun protection behavior with general sun safety messaging were more promising than those that focused on multiple behaviors.  In some cases, men and women responded differently. More women in the study felt strongly that they would miss out on activities if they applied sunscreen, but they felt positive about protecting their head and face from the sun by covering up. On the other hand, men more often felt they would miss out on activities if they sought shade.

Investigators did not see specific messages rising to the top in this study, and suggest that focusing on a single sun protection behavior initially would be more effective.  This is seen as a first step, as longer communication campaigns may be needed to achieve lasting changes. One viewing of a message about protection is not enough to change a person’s behavior when it comes to sun protection methods.

Read the full paper here.

Bleakley A, Jordan A, Strasser A, Lazovich D, Glanz K. Testing General Versus Specific Behavioral Focus in Messaging for the Promotion of Sun Protection BehaviorsAnnals of Behavioral Medicine, 2019 Oct 4