Go friends…

I just finished a massive reading/triage session of over 500 articles I had stored in various ‘to read’ folders on my computer. Just wanted to send a big congratulations to Etienne Juneau and Yan Kestens for two recent publications. Also a shout out to Patrick Morency for successfully defending his doctoral dissertation yesterday.

Trends in leisure-, transport-, and work-related physical activity in Canada 1994-2005. 

Juneau CE, Potvin L. (Prev Med. 2010 Sep 8)

BACKGROUND: In Canada, data show adults had a lower energy intake in 2004 than in 1972. Data also show adults expended more energy through leisure-time physical activity in 2000 than in 1981. On the other hand, the prevalence of overweight and obesity (combined) rose from 49.2% to 59.1% between 1978 and 2004.

PURPOSE: This study aimed to chart trends in leisure-, transport-, and work-related physical activity in Canada between 1994 and 2005.

METHODS: We used nationally representative data from the three National Population Health Surveys (1994, 1996, and 1998) and the three Canadian Community Health Surveys (2000, 2003, and 2005) (a repeated cross-sectional design). Sample sizes ranged from n=17 626 (in 1994) to n=132 221 (in 2005).

RESULTS: Between 1994 and 2005, men became less inactive during leisure time (-9.94% [9.89% – 9.98%]), less inactive during transports (-15.31% [15.26% – 15.35%]), and more inactive at work (+5.18% [5.14% – 5.22%]). Similar results were found for women.

CONCLUSIONS: Declining levels of physical activity at work may help explain the rising prevalence of overweight and obesity in Canada.

Using experienced activity spaces to measure foodscape exposure 
Yan Kestens, Alexandre Lebel, Mark Daniel, Marius Thériault, Robert Pampalon (Health Place. 2010 Jul 11.)

Researchers are increasingly interested in understanding how food environments influence eating behavior and weight-related health outcomes. Little is known about the dose–response relationship between foodscapes and behavior or weight, with measures of food exposure having mainly focused on fixed anchor points including residential neighborhoods, schools, or workplaces. Recent calls have been made to extend the consideration of environmental influences beyond local neighborhoods and also to shift away from place-based, to people-based, measures of exposure. This report presents analyses of novel activity-space measures of exposure to foodscapes, combining travel survey data with food store locations in Montreal and Quebec City, Canada. The resulting individual activity-space experienced foodscape exposure measures differ from traditional residential-based measures, and show variations by age and income levels. Furthermore, these activity-space exposure measures once modeled, can be used as predictors of health outcomes. Hence, travel surveys can be used to estimate environmental exposure for health survey participants.

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