Older people in Spain and other Southern European countries are reported to feel lonelier than the older people in the North of Europe. Data from the 1970s and onwards consistently show this. The present study explores feelings of loneliness as a product of both cultural and situational determining factors, by comparing survey data for Spain and Sweden.
Data derived from several national surveys of the older people in Spain and Sweden with questions about loneliness. For closer analysis we use the Spanish 2006 Encuesta de Condiciones de Vida (Living conditions Questionnaire), and the Swedish 2002-2003 Survey of Living Conditions.
On average, 24% of older people in Spain and 10% of elderly Swedish people expressed sentiments of loneliness in the surveys used here (2006 and 2002-03 respectively). Living arrangements and perceived health are related with factors of loneliness in both countries, although levels differ. For example, people in good health who live alone are five times more likely to feel lonely in Spain (45%) than in Sweden (9%) and two-three times more likely when living alone in poor health (82% and 32% respectively). People in good health who live with their spouse/partner only are equally unlikely in both Spain and Sweden to express loneliness (4-5%). It often seems--when it occurs--to be due to caring for a spouse/partner, or problems in the relationship.
Results highlight the importance of contextual features--health and living arrangements--and cultural expectations in interpreting reported loneliness.
Division of Strategic Sustainability Studies, Department of Sustainable Development, Environmental Sciences and Engineering, School of Architecture and Built Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This paper presents an analysis of European and Swedish national and municipal waste prevention plans to determine their capability of preventing the generation of waste. An analysis of the stated objectives in these waste prevention plans and the measures they propose to realize them exposes six problematic features: (1) These plans ignore what drives waste generation, such as consumption, and (2) rely as much on conventional waste management goals as they do on goals with the aim of preventing the generation of waste at the source. The Swedish national and local plans (3) focus on small waste streams, such as food waste, rather than large ones, such as industrial and commercial waste. Suggested waste prevention measures at all levels are (4) soft rather than constraining, for example, these plans focus on information campaigns rather than taxes and bans, and (5) not clearly connected to incentives and consequences for the actors involved. The responsibility for waste prevention has been (6) entrusted to non-governmental actors in the market such as companies that are then free to define which proposals suit them best rather than their being guided by planners. For improved waste prevention regulation, two strategies are proposed. First, focus primarily not on household-related waste, but on consumption and production of products with high environmental impact and toxicity as waste. Second, remove waste prevention from the waste hierarchy to make clear that, by definition, waste prevention is not about the management of waste.
A prospective study of the mother's longevity and of her completed family size has been conducted on the basis of historical demographic records. We show that 1 to 5 pregnancies is associated with the greatest longevity in weakly inbred women and 11 pregnancies is associated with greatest longevity in more inbred women. Taking into account maternal inbreeding, completely sterile women and those who had a large number of pregnancies have an equal mean longevity. It is suggested that repeated pregnancies produce a cumulative hormonal effect, the distribution of which, following family size, should be bell-shaped.
The paper deals with two demographic characteristics of 6 villages in the Archangelsk Region of the RSFSR (river Peosa region) significant from the genetical standpoint. These data were obtained by means of the examination of 843 persons (75,07% of the total number of inhabitants) and of the analysis of complete list of inhabitants permanently living in the villages studied. The proportion of the reproductivity age class was 28.94%, the numbers of men and woman among them being about equal. The average number of children per family in families that have already completed their reproductive period was 3.87, the variance being 4.51 (the data obtained on the basis of examination of over 90 families). The average age of marriage was established to be about 24 years, the duration of each generation being about 32 years. The average index of endogamy per village was observed to be 58.40%, the contribution of the gametes of the preceding generation per village being 72.86%. The migrational influx of gametes from other localities per total of 6 villages was 2.52%. It was shown by the comparison of the character of migrations with mathematical models that the matrix migrational model is the most adequate one.
Today there is a strong trend in Sweden for industrially processed meals to replace homemade meals. In the public debate this is often claimed to increase the environmental impact from foods. In the study presented in this article, we used life-cycle assessment to quantify the environmental impact of three meals: homemade, semiprepared, and ready-to-eat. The differences in environmental impact between the meals were small; the ready-to-eat meal used the most energy, whereas the homemade meal had higher emissions causing eutrophication and global warming. The dominating contributor to the environmental impact was agriculture, accounting for 30%, of the impact related to energy and 95% of that related to eutrophication. Industry, packaging, and consumer home transport and food preparation also contributed significantly. Important factors were raw material use, energy efficiency in industry and households, packaging, and residue treatment. To decrease the overall environmental impact of food consumption, improvements in agriculture are very important, together with raw-material use within industry and households.