AIMS: To identify characteristics of the public health policies of four Nordic countries concerning how they present the causes of ill health, the best ways to deal with these causes, and where to place responsibility; additionally, to investigate whether there is a common Nordic policy.
METHODS: Analyses of recent public health programs in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.
RESULTS: Focus is on either, or both, individual behavior and living conditions as causes of ill health; the remedies are classical liberal as well as social democratic policies. None of the programs is consistent with either ideological strand; each has its peculiar combination of interpretations and policies. The Danish program is the most liberal focusing on behaviors and individual's choices; the Norwegian program is the most social democratic or social liberal focusing mostly on the social and physical environment and the politicians' responsibility to improve the population's health. The Swedish and the Finnish programs lie between those of Denmark and Norway. The Finnish and Norwegian governments stress their responsibility for the health of the population.
CONCLUSIONS: No common Nordic political approach to public health exists. All programs contain contradictory policies and ideological statements with differences regarding the emphasis on individual behavior versus choice and living conditions and political responsibility. The policies are not entirely predictable from the political stance of the government; national differences seem to play a role.
The present study aimed to explore the process in which impulsivity might influence soft drink consumption in adolescents, addressing potential mediating effects of perceived parental regulation regarding unhealthy eating. A cross-sectional survey was performed among 440 13-15-year-olds in Eastern Norway. The survey questionnaire included measures of impulsivity, six types of maternal and paternal regulation (as perceived by the adolescents), and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB). Parallel multiple-mediator analyses were performed to reveal potential mediating effects of perceived parental regulatory behaviors on the association between adolescent impulsivity and SSB consumption. Separate models were run for maternal and paternal regulation. Results from our model analyses (both maternal and paternal models) indicated that all the six measured parental regulatory behaviors jointly acted as mediators on the association between adolescent impulsivity and SSB consumption. However, only perceived maternal and paternal legitimacy of regulation showed a unique contribution to the mediated effect. This finding suggests that adolescents' perception of parental legitimate authority is of particular importance in explaining the relationship between impulsivity and unhealthy eating behaviors in adolescents. Future nutrition interventions targeting adolescents and their parents should take personal factors such as adolescents' level of impulsivity into account. Ultimately; what may be an appropriate approach to impulsive individuals and their parents may diverge from what may be an appropriate approach to less impulsive individuals and their parents.
OBJECTIVES: We examined the extent to which adolescents in Norway have been exposed to tobacco marketing despite an existing ban, and whether exposure is related to their current smoking or expectations they will smoke in the future. METHODS: Questionnaires were administered to nationally representative systematic samples of Norwegian youths aged 13 to 15 years in 1990 (n = 4282) and 1995 (n = 4065). RESULTS: About half in each cohort reported exposure to marketing. Youths reporting exposure were significantly more likely to be current smokers and to expect to be smokers at 20 years of age, after control for important social influence predictors. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents' current smoking and future smoking expectations are linked to marketing exposure even in limited settings, suggesting the need for comprehensive controls to eliminate the function of marketing in promoting adolescent smoking.
Tularemia was diagnosed in 57 patients during an outbreak in central Norway in 1984 and 1985. Clinical categories of the disease showed seasonal variations. A bacterial microagglutination test and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with class-specific antibodies against Francisella tularensis outer membrane (OM) antigens were evaluated for the early diagnosis of tularemia. ELISA with immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgA, or IgM antibodies and the microagglutination test differed only marginally in diagnostic sensitivity. The OM preparation harbored F. tularensis agglutinogens and contained a variety of proteins, several of which functioned as immunogens in tularemia patients, as shown by Western blotting (immunoblotting). All 12 patients tested produced antibodies against a 43,000-molecular-weight OM protein. Individual variation was noted with regard to antibody response against other OM antigens. The OM is a suitable antigen preparation in ELISA for the diagnosis of tularemia and, presumably, contains antigens important in the immunobiology of tularemia.
AIMS: In March and April 2009, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health was notified about two groups of schoolchildren with gastroenteritis following a stay at a Norwegian wildlife reserve. Although at first considered a typical norovirus outbreak, an investigation that considered other possibilities was initiated.
METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted among schoolchildren visiting the reserve in the relevant weeks. A web-based questionnaire was distributed by email. Fecal samples of visitors and employees were analyzed. The premises were inspected, and water samples and animal feces analyzed.
RESULTS: We received 141 replies (response rate 84%); 74 cases were identified. Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in fecal samples from 9/12 (75%) visitors and 2/15 (13%) employees. One employee diagnosed with Cryptosporidium infection helped in the kitchen. Additionally, one pupil was diagnosed with norovirus infection. No food item was identified as a source of the outbreak. Pathogens were not detected in water samples taken in week 12, one week from the start of the outbreak. Escherichia coli, but not Cryptosporidium oocysts, were detected in water samples taken one month later.
CONCLUSIONS: Although Cryptosporidium is seldom considered as an etiological agent of gastrointestinal illness in Norway, this outbreak indicates that it should not be excluded. In this cryptosporidiosis outbreak, the largest in Norway to date, the transmission vehicle was not definitively identified, but a food handler, water, and animal contact could not be excluded. We recommend improving hand hygiene routines, boiling drinking water, and emphasize that people who are unwell, particularly those working in catering, should stay away from work.
Using a solid phase radioimmunoassay, antibody to hepatitis A virus (anti-HAV) was determined in 3890 sera from populations in seven European countries. Prevalence of anti-HAV was lowest in Scandinavian countries and highest in Greece and France. Antibodies were found in 77 (13%) of 602 blood donors in Sweden, in 29 (17%) of 175 blood donors and women taking birth control pills in Norway, in 273 (39%) of 700 blood donors in Switzerland, in 262 (52%) of 505 blood donors in Holland, in 365 (55%) of 661 accident patients in West Germany, in 452 (75%) of 600 blood donors in France and in 530 (82%) of 647 persons in Greece. Prevalence of anti-HAV increased with age in all populations tested, indicating nearly total exposure to HAV in persons over 19 years of age in Greece and in persons over 39 years of age in West Germany, Holland and France. Antibody was found more frequently in rural than in urban populations in Greece and Switzerland. Calculation of the age-specific incidence of HAV infections suggests a remarkable decline in the exposure rate in the last few decades.
This study was undertaken to determine the in vitro susceptibility of Clostridium perfringens, isolated from poultry to antimicrobials used in poultry production. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of eight antimicrobials, including the ionophoric coccidiostat narasin, was determined for 102 C. perfringens isolates, 58 from Sweden, 24 from Norway and 20 from Denmark. Susceptibility to each antimicrobial compound was determined by broth microdilution. The isolates were obtained from broilers (89), laying hens (9) and turkeys (4), affected by necrotic enteritis (NE) or by C. perfringens associated hepatitis (CPH), and from healthy broilers. All strains, regardless of origin, proved inherently susceptible to ampicillin, narasin, avilamycin, erythromycin and vancomycin. A low frequency of resistance to virginiamycin and bacitracin was also found. Resistance to tetracycline was found in strains isolated in all three countries; Sweden (76%), Denmark (10%) and Norway (29%). In 80% of the tetracycline-resistant isolates, the two resistance genes tetA(P) and tetB(P) were amplified by PCR whereas in 20% only the tetA(P) gene was detected. No tetM gene amplicon was obtained from any of the tetracycline-resistant isolates. The uniform susceptibility to narasin revealed in this study shows that the substance can still be used to control clostridiosis. In this study, C. perfringens also showed a low degree of resistance to most other antimicrobials tested. Despite the small amounts of tetracycline used in poultry, a considerable degree of resistance to tetracycline was found in C. perfringens isolates from Swedish broilers.
The "Arctic as a food producing region" is a project funded by the Nordic Council of Ministries, the Canadian Arctic Council office, the University of Saskatchewan (Canada), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nofima – Norwegian Institute of Food, fisheries and Aquaculture Research, the Icelandic Foreign Ministry, and endorsed by the Arctic Council Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG). The project has participation from Canada, Denmark, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Russia. The aim of the "Arctic as a food producing region" - project is to assess the potential for increased production and added value of food from the Arctic region, with the overarching aim of improving economic and social conditions of Arctic communities. This report is the output from the first phase of the project, providing a description of the main food production and examples of conditions for food production in the Arctic areas of the countries involved.