The obesity epidemic among children and youth, and the social gradient in this relationship, could be related to differential exposure to food sources in primary environments. Although the positive association between area-level deprivation and fast-food outlets offering high-calorie foods has been well documented, few studies have evaluated food sources around school settings.
This study evaluated the relationships among food sources around schools, neighborhood income, and commercial density.
A GIS was used to derive measures of exposure to fast-food outlets, fruit and vegetable stores, and full-service restaurants near primary and secondary schools in Montreal, Canada, in 2005. Food source availability was analyzed in 2009 in relation to neighborhood income for the area around schools, accounting for commercial density.
For the 1168 schools identified, strong neighborhood income gradients were observed in relation to food sources. Relative to the highest income-quartile schools, the odds of a fast-food outlet being located within 750 m of a low income-quartile school was 30.9 (95% CI=19.6, 48.9). Similar relationships were observed for full-service restaurants (OR=77, 95% CI=35, 169.3) and fruit and vegetable stores (OR=29.6, 95% CI=18.8, 46.7). These associations were reduced, but remained significant in models accounting for commercial density.
Food source exposure around schools is inversely associated with neighborhood income, but commercial density partly accounts for this association. Further research is necessary to document food consumption among youth attending schools in relation to nearby food source opportunities.
The Health Belief Model (HBM) was evaluated for secondary prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus in an Aboriginal population in British Columbia. Glycemic markers (glycated hemoglobin [HbA1c]), insulin and post-load glucose), diabetes health beliefs (susceptibility, severity, benefits and barriers), knowledge and behaviour were measured for 16 men and 18 women with diabetes (age [SD]=57.7 [11.6]). Eighteen months later, HbA1c and behaviour were measured for all participants, and health beliefs obtained for 17 of them. Perceived severity and perceived barriers were related to glycemic status at baseline and follow up, and predicted reduction in HbA1c (b[SE]
Area-level socioeconomic conditions are associated with epidemic rates of viral hepatitis and HIV amongst urban injection drug users (IDUs), but whether specific socioeconomic markers are uniformly related to IDU outcomes across different urban environments is unclear. We evaluated whether injection behaviour is differentially related to neighbourhood socioeconomic characteristics for IDUs in inner city vs. surrounding urban areas.
The study population was 468 active IDUs on the Island of Montréal. Neighbourhoods were represented as 500m radius buffers around individual IDU dwelling places. High-risk injection behaviour (HRIB) was defined dichotomously. Relations between neighbourhood socioeconomic disadvantage (percentage households below low-income cutoff), neighbourhood educational attainment (percentage adults with university degree), and HRIB were assessed using multivariate logistic regression. Stratified analyses were conducted for inner city IDUs (n=219), and those in surrounding areas (n=249).
Similar proportions of IDUs in inner city and surrounding areas reported HRIB. Neighbourhood socioeconomic characteristics were not associated with HRIB for IDUs in surrounding areas. For inner city IDUs, those in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods were more likely to practice HRIB (OR 4.34; 95% CI 1.15-16.35). Conversely, inner city IDUs residing in lower educational attainment neighbourhoods had a lower odds of HRIB (OR 0.41; 95% CI 0.21-0.80).
HRIB did not vary according to urban environment but for inner-city IDUs was differentially related to socioeconomic markers. Associations between HRIB and neighbourhood socioeconomic disadvantage and lower educational attainment, positive and negative, respectively, indicate that adverse socioeconomic circumstances are not related to a uniformly greater likelihood of HRIB.
Studies in the USA suggest that the association between maternal birthplace, socioeconomic status (SES), and low birth weight (LBW) can vary across different immigrant groups. Less is known outside the USA about these associations. Our study assesses the association of maternal birthplace and SES on the likelihood of LBW infants in Québec, Canada.
Using 2000 Quebec birth registry data, logistic regression was used to examine differentials in LBW according to maternal birthplace and SES. Singleton infants born to Québec mothers (n=47,988) were grouped into nine regions based on maternal birthplace: (1) Canada; (2) the USA and western Europe; (3) eastern Europe; (4) Latin America; (5) the Caribbean; (6) Sub-Saharan Africa; (7) north Africa and Middle East; (8) South Asia; and (9) East Asia and Pacific. SES was classified into four categories according to maternal educational attainment: (1) low SES (
Perinatal health data for Haitians are scant. We evaluated adverse birth outcomes for Haitians in Québec, Canada. We analyzed 2,124,909 live births from 1981 to 2006. Haitian ethnicity was assessed using maternal birth country (Haiti, other Caribbean country, other foreign country, Canada) and home language (Creole, French/English but Creole mother tongue, French/English, other). Associations between ethnicity and preterm birth (PTB), low birth weight (LBW), and small-for-gestational-age (SGA) birth were calculated. Adverse birth outcomes were more common among mothers with Haitian ethnicity. Relative to Canadian-born mothers, odds for Haitian-born mothers were 4 times greater for extreme PTB (=27 weeks), twice greater for very PTB (28-31 weeks), and 25% higher for moderate PTB (32-36 weeks). Patterns were similar for SGA birth and severe cases of LBW. Despite overall decreases LBW and SGA birth, relative and absolute inequalities increased over time. Perinatal health inequalities are increasing for Haitian-born mothers.
Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Centre de recherche Léa-Roback sur les inégalités sociales de santé de Montréal & IRSPUM, Université de Montréal Public Health Research Institute, Québec, Canada. Sherri.Bisset@criucpq.ulaval.ca
To describe how and why nutritionists implement and strategize particular program operations across school contexts.
Instrumental case study with empirical propositions from Actor-Network Theory (ANT). Data derived from interviews with interventionists and observations of their practices.
Seven primary schools from disadvantaged Montreal neighborhoods.
Six nutritionists implementing the nutrition intervention in grades 4 and 5. From 133 nutrition workshops held in 2005/06, 31 workshops were observed with audio-recordings.
Little Cooks--Parental Networks aims to promote healthy eating behaviors through engagement in food preparation and promotion of nutrition knowledge.
The program-context interface where interventionists' practices form interactively within a given social context.
Coding inspired by ANT. Interview analysis involved construction of collective implementation strategies. Observations and audio-recordings were used to qualify and quantify nutritionists' practices against variations in implementation.
Nutritionists privileged intervention strategies according to particularities of the setting. Some such variation was accounted for by school-level social conditions, individual preferences and nutritionists' past experiences.
Implementation practices are strategic and aim to engage educational actors to achieve intervention goals. These results challenge implementation frameworks centered on purely technical considerations that exclude the social and interpretive nature of practice.
This study sought to extend previous analyses of food insecurity in Montreal by examining the relationship between neighbourhood sociodemographic and urban form variables and sources of food both unhealthful (fast-food outlets, FFO) and healthful (stores selling fruits and vegetables, FVS).
Densities of FFO and FVS were computed for 862 Census tract areas (CTA) (defined as census tract with a 1-km buffer around its limits) for the Montréal Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). Predictor variables included CTA socio-demographic characteristics reflecting income, household structure, language, and education, and urban form measures, specifically, densities of local roads, main roads, expressways and highways. Food source densities were regressed on CTA characteristics using stepwise regression.
Socio-demographic and urban form measures explained 60% and 73% of the variance in densities of FFO and FVS, respectively. FFO were more prevalent in CTA with higher proportions of full-time students and households speaking neither French nor English; lower proportions of married individuals, children and older adults; and more high-traffic roads. FVS were more prevalent in CTA with higher proportions of single residents, university-educated residents and households speaking neither French nor English; lower proportion of French-speakers; and more local roads. Median household income was not related to the density of FFO or FVS.
The availability of healthful and unhealthful food varies across the Montréal CMA. Areas with lower education and more French-speaking households have a lesser availability of FVS. The association of FFO with high-traffic roadways and areas with high school attendance suggests a point for intervention via commercial zoning changes.
Elevated ratios of male to female births are emerging in Asian countries due to selective abortion of female foetuses. Little research has evaluated the possibility of sex selection among Asians in the West. We evaluated patterns in the secondary sex ratio (SSR, number of male per 100 female births) according to ethnicity in Québec, Canada. We performed a population-based retrospective analysis of live and still births in urban Québec, 1981-2004 (N = 1,612,614 live births). Outcomes included: (1) first and second order SSR over four consecutive 6-year intervals analysed according to parental mother tongue, parental birth region, and mothers still speaking her mother tongue at home, (2) adjusted relative risk (RR) of female birth by parental ethnicity, and (3) estimated number of unborn females. For the period 1987-1992, first order SSRs were elevated (range 118-121) for Indo-Pakistani parental mother tongue and mothers currently speaking Indo-Pakistani at home. Second order SSRs were not elevated. For Indo-Pakistani mother tongues, the RR of female birth was lower than French/English in the same period (adjusted RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.92-0.99). SSRs were not imbalanced in the late 1990s among Indo-Pakistani parents, or among Chinese ethnicity in any study period. The SSR in Québec was elevated in the 1980s and early 1990s among firstborn relative to subsequent born infants of Indo-Pakistani descent. The reason for this imbalance is unclear. Further research in other Western settings is necessary to evaluate the possibility of sex selection.
Causal inference regarding the impact of place on health is constrained by limited attention to the biological plausibility of associations. The utility of such evidence also requires demonstrating that place-based exposures precede effects on health. We propose a conceptual framework that integrates time and two plausible biosocial pathways by which the geospatial clustering of social disadvantage might be viewed as causally related to the development of cardiovascular and glycemic disease. The framework distinguishes environmental risk conditions that condition the expression of individual behavioural and psychosocial characteristics, and socioeconomic and material conditions that influence regulatory systems through conscious and non-conscious mechanisms.