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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 13, Issue 11 (November 2016)

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Open AccessArticle Effects of Fetal Exposure to Asian Sand Dust on Development and Reproduction in Male Offspring
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1173; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111173
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
In recent experimental studies, we reported the aggravating effects of Asian sand dust (ASD) on male reproduction in mice. However, the effects of fetal ASD exposure on male reproduction have not been investigated. The present study investigated the effects of fetal ASD exposure
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In recent experimental studies, we reported the aggravating effects of Asian sand dust (ASD) on male reproduction in mice. However, the effects of fetal ASD exposure on male reproduction have not been investigated. The present study investigated the effects of fetal ASD exposure on reproduction in male offspring. Using pregnant CD-1 mice, ASD was administered intratracheally on days 7 and 14 of gestation, and the reproduction of male offspring was determined at 5, 10, and 15 weeks after birth. The secondary sex ratio was significantly lower in the fetal ASD-exposed mice than in the controls. Histologic examination showed partial vacuolation of seminiferous tubules in immature mice. Moreover, daily sperm production (DSP) was significantly less in the fetal ASD-exposed mice than in the controls. DSP in the fetal ASD-exposed mice was approximately 10% less than the controls at both 5 and 10 weeks. However, both the histologic changes and the DSP decrease were reversed as the mice matured. These findings suggest that ASD exposure affects both the fetal development and the reproduction of male offspring. In the future, it will be necessary to clarify the onset mechanisms of ASD-induced male fetus death and male reproductive disorders. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Predictors of Urinary 3-Phenoxybenzoic Acid Levels in 50 North Carolina Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111172
Received: 29 August 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
Limited data are available on the non-chemical stressors that impact adult exposures to pyrethroid insecticides based on urinary biomonitoring. The urinary metabolite, 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3-PBA), is commonly used to assess human exposure to a number of pyrethroids. In a further analysis of published
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Limited data are available on the non-chemical stressors that impact adult exposures to pyrethroid insecticides based on urinary biomonitoring. The urinary metabolite, 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3-PBA), is commonly used to assess human exposure to a number of pyrethroids. In a further analysis of published study data, we quantified urinary 3-PBA levels of 50 adults over a single, 24-h sampling period and examined the associations between the biomarker measurements and selected non-chemical stressors (demographic, lifestyle, and dietary factors). A convenience sample of 50 adults was recruited in North Carolina in 2009–2011. Participants collected individual urine voids (up to 11) and filled out activity, food, and pesticide use diaries over a 24-h sampling period. Urine voids (n = 326) were analyzed for 3-PBA concentrations using high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. 3-PBA was detected in 98% of the 24-h composited urine samples. The geometric mean urinary 3-PBA level was 1.68 ng/mL in adults. Time spent outside (p = 0.0006) was a highly significant predictor of natural log-transformed (ln) urinary 3-PBA levels, while consumption of coffee (p = 0.007) and breads (p = 0.019) and ln creatinine levels (p = 0.037) were significant predictors of urinary 3-PBA levels. In conclusion, we identified specific factors that substantially increased adult exposures to pyrethroids in their everyday environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Micro-Pollutants and Human Exposure)
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Open AccessArticle An Investigation on the Effect of Extremely Low Frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields on Human Electrocardiograms (ECGs)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1171; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111171
Received: 28 June 2016 / Revised: 16 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
For this investigation, we studied the effects of extremely low frequency pulse electromagnetic fields (ELF-PEMF) on the human cardiac signal. Electrocardiograms (ECGs) of 22 healthy volunteers before and after a short duration of ELF-PEMF exposure were recorded. The experiment was conducted under single-blind
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For this investigation, we studied the effects of extremely low frequency pulse electromagnetic fields (ELF-PEMF) on the human cardiac signal. Electrocardiograms (ECGs) of 22 healthy volunteers before and after a short duration of ELF-PEMF exposure were recorded. The experiment was conducted under single-blind conditions. The root mean square (RMS) value of the recorded data was considered as comparison criteria. We also measured and analysed four important ECG time intervals before and after ELF-PEMF exposure. Results revealed that the RMS value of the ECG recordings from 18 participants (81.8% of the total participants) increased with a mean value of 3.72%. The increase in ECG voltage levels was then verified by a second experimental protocol with a control exposure. In addition to this, we used hyperbolic T-distributions (HTD) in the analysis of ECG signals to verify the change in the RR interval. It was found that there were small shifts in the frequency-domain signal before and after EMF exposure. This shift has an influence on all frequency components of the ECG signals, as all spectrums were shifted. It is shown from this investigation that a short time exposure to ELF-PEMF can affect the properties of ECG signals. Further study is needed to consolidate this finding and discover more on the biological effects of ELF-PEMF on human physiological processes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation Research of the Effects of Longitudinal Speed Reduction Markings on Driving Behavior: A Driving Simulator Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1170; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111170
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 4 November 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
The objective of this paper is to explore the effects of longitudinal speed reduction markings (LSRMs) on vehicle maneuvering and drivers’ operation performance on interchange connectors with different radii. Empirical data were collected in a driving simulator. Indicators—relative speed change, standard deviation of
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The objective of this paper is to explore the effects of longitudinal speed reduction markings (LSRMs) on vehicle maneuvering and drivers’ operation performance on interchange connectors with different radii. Empirical data were collected in a driving simulator. Indicators—relative speed change, standard deviation of acceleration, and gas/brake pedal power—were proposed to characterize driving behavior. Statistical results revealed that LSRMs could reduce vehicles’ travel speed and limit drivers’ willingness to increase speed in the entire connector. To probe the impacts of LSRMs, the connecter was split into four even sections. Effects of LSRMs on driving behavior were stronger in the second and the final sections of connectors. LSRMs also enhanced drivers’ adaptability in the first three quarters of a connector when the radius was 50 m. Drivers’ gas pedal operation would be impacted by LSRMs in the entire connector when the radius was 50 m. LSRMs could only make drivers press brake pedal more frequently in the second section with 80 m and 100 m radius. In the second quarter section of a connector—from the FQP (the first quartile point) to the MC (the middle point of curve)—LSRMs have better effects on influencing vehicle maneuvering and drivers’ operation performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traffic Safety and Injury Prevention)
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Open AccessArticle Prevalence and Parental Risk Factors for Speech Disability Associated with Cleft Palate in Chinese Children—A National Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1168; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111168
Received: 5 October 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 11 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
Although the prevalence of oral clefts in China is among the highest worldwide, little is known about the prevalence of speech disability associated with cleft palate in Chinese children. The data for this study were collected from the Second China National Sample Survey
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Although the prevalence of oral clefts in China is among the highest worldwide, little is known about the prevalence of speech disability associated with cleft palate in Chinese children. The data for this study were collected from the Second China National Sample Survey on Disability, and identification of speech disability associated with cleft palate was based on consensus manuals. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). A weighted number of 112,070 disabled children affected by cleft palate were identified, yielding a prevalence of 3.45 per 10,000 children (95% CI: 3.19–3.71). A history of speech disability in the mother (OR = 20.266, 95% CI 5.788–70.959, p < 0.0001), older paternal child-bearing age (OR = 1.061, 95% CI 1.017–1.108, p = 0.0065, per year increase in age), and lower parental education (maternal: OR = 3.424, 95% CI 1.082–10.837, p = 0.0363; paternal: OR = 2.923, 95% CI 1.245–6.866, p = 0.0138) were strongly associated with risk of speech disability associated with cleft palate in the offspring. Our results showed that maternal speech disability, older paternal child-bearing age, and lower levels of parental education were independent risk factors for speech disability associated with cleft palate for children in China. These findings may have important implications for health disparities and prevention. Full article
Open AccessArticle Groundwater Vulnerability Assessment of the Pingtung Plain in Southern Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1167; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111167
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 9 November 2016 / Accepted: 13 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
In the Pingtung Plain of southern Taiwan, elevated levels of NO3-N in groundwater have been reported. Therefore, efforts for assessing groundwater vulnerability are required as part of the critical steps to prevent and control groundwater pollution. This study makes a
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In the Pingtung Plain of southern Taiwan, elevated levels of NO3-N in groundwater have been reported. Therefore, efforts for assessing groundwater vulnerability are required as part of the critical steps to prevent and control groundwater pollution. This study makes a groundwater vulnerability assessment for the Pingtung Plain using an improved overlay and index-based DRASTIC model. The improvement of the DRASTIC model is achieved by reassigning the weighting coefficients of the factors in this model with the help of a discriminant analysis statistical method. The analytical results obtained from the improved DRASTIC model provide a reliable prediction for use in groundwater vulnerability assessment to nitrate pollution and can correctly identify the groundwater protection zones in the Pingtung Plain. Moreover, the results of the sensitivity analysis conducted for the seven parameters in the improved DRASTIC model demonstrate that the aquifer media (A) is the most sensitive factor when the nitrate-N concentration is below 2.5 mg/L. For the cases where the nitrate-N concentration is above 2.5 mg/L, the aquifer media (A) and net recharge (R) are the two most important factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Views and Preferences for Nicotine Products as an Alternative to Smoking: A Focus Group Study of People Living with Mental Disorders
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1166; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111166
Received: 17 October 2016 / Revised: 12 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
Aims and Background: People living with mental disorders experience a disproportionately higher burden of tobacco-related disease than the general population. Long-term substitution with less harmful nicotine products could reduce the tobacco-related harm among this population. This study investigated the views and preferences
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Aims and Background: People living with mental disorders experience a disproportionately higher burden of tobacco-related disease than the general population. Long-term substitution with less harmful nicotine products could reduce the tobacco-related harm among this population. This study investigated the views and preferences of people with mental health disorders about different nicotine products and their use as long-term substitutes for cigarettes. Methods: Semi-structured focus group discussion followed by a brief questionnaire. The discussion transcripts were analysed for content and themes and quantitative data summarised with descriptive statistics. Results: Twenty-nine participants took part in four focus groups. Vaping devices were the most acceptable nicotine products discussed; however preferences for nicotine products were individual and varied along aesthetic, pragmatic, sensory and symbolic dimensions. The concept of tobacco harm reduction was unfamiliar to participants, however they generally agreed with the logic of replacing cigarettes with less harmful nicotine products. Barriers to activating tobacco harm reduction included the symbolism of smoking and quitting; the importance placed on health; the consumer appeal of alternatives; and cost implications. Discussion and Conclusions: Engaging this population in tobacco harm reduction options will require communication that challenges black and white thinking (a conceptual framework in which smoking cigarettes or quitting all nicotine are the only legitimate options) as in practice this serves to support the continuance of smoking. Consumers should be encouraged to trial a range of nicotine products to find the most acceptable alternative to smoking that reduces health harms. Providing incentives to switch to nicotine products could help overcome barriers to using less harmful nicotine products among mental health consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Control and Priority Groups)
Open AccessArticle Is Green Exercise for All? A Descriptive Study of Green Exercise Habits and Promoting Factors in Adult Norwegians
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1165; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111165
Received: 29 August 2016 / Revised: 5 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
Background: Physical activity (PA) in natural environments, known as green exercise (GE), can provide health benefits above and beyond PA in other environments, but little is known about the extent to which GE is an accessible form of weekly PA across different social
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Background: Physical activity (PA) in natural environments, known as green exercise (GE), can provide health benefits above and beyond PA in other environments, but little is known about the extent to which GE is an accessible form of weekly PA across different social groups. This study aims to examine the “GE phenomenon” in Norway, and evaluate possible differences in GE habits and perceived factors that promote GE across sub-groups of this population. Methods: 2168 adults from all over Norway reported weekly GE and other forms of PA, specific forms of GE, and perceived factors that promote GE. Data were examined in the overall sample and in relation with the respondents’ PA status and sociodemographic characteristics. Results: GE, especially “walking in the forest” and “activities by/on the sea”, was the most popular form of weekly PA, even among those with low PA levels. GE was fairly represented across all social groups, and especially among the elderly, those who live with spouse/partner and those who live in the west regions of Norway, while no associations were found in relation to sex, centrality, education level or household income. “Time flexibility” and “PA-supportive places” were generally perceived as the most important factors that promote GE across all social groups. “Accessibility to nature” was generally perceived relatively little important, though a gradient was observed in relation to age, education level and household income. Conclusions: GE is an important source of weekly PA and health among adult Norwegians, especially in sub-groups of interest for public health such as the elderly, those with lower socio-economic status and those who live in non-urban areas. More should be done to understand and address the inequities relative to the perceived accessibility to nature. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sociocultural Determinants of Risky Sexual Behaviors among Adult Latinas: A Longitudinal Study of a Community-Based Sample
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1164; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111164
Received: 22 September 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
Few studies have examined the sociocultural determinants of risky sexual behavior trajectories among adult Latinas. To longitudinally examine the link between sociocultural determinants of risky sexual behaviors, we followed a sample of adult Latina mother-daughter dyads (n = 267) across a 10-year
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Few studies have examined the sociocultural determinants of risky sexual behavior trajectories among adult Latinas. To longitudinally examine the link between sociocultural determinants of risky sexual behaviors, we followed a sample of adult Latina mother-daughter dyads (n = 267) across a 10-year span through four waves of data collection. The present study investigates how risky sexual behavior (operationalized as sex under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, sex without a condom, or multiple sex partners) is affected by: (a) socioeconomic conditions; (b) mental health; (c) medical health; (d) acculturation to U.S. culture; (e) interpersonal support; (f) relationship stress; (g) mother-daughter attachment; (h) intimate partner violence; (i) religious involvement; and (j) criminal justice involvement. Results indicate the following factors are negatively associated with risky sexual behavior: drug and alcohol use, treating a physical problem with prescription drugs, religious involvement, and mother–daughter attachment. The following factors are positively associated with risky sexual behavior: higher number of mental health symptoms, being U.S.-born, and criminal justice involvement. We discuss implications for the future development of culturally relevant interventions based on the study findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Determinants of HIV, Substance Abuse and Addiction)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Scale, Question Location, Order of Response Alternatives, and Season on Self-Reported Noise Annoyance Using ICBEN Scales: A Field Experiment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1163; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111163
Received: 5 August 2016 / Revised: 24 October 2016 / Accepted: 11 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1426 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The type of noise annoyance scale and aspects of its presentation such as response format or location within a questionnaire and other contextual factors may affect self-reported noise annoyance. By means of a balanced experimental design, the effect of type of annoyance question
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The type of noise annoyance scale and aspects of its presentation such as response format or location within a questionnaire and other contextual factors may affect self-reported noise annoyance. By means of a balanced experimental design, the effect of type of annoyance question and corresponding scale (5-point verbal vs. 11-point numerical ICBEN (International Commission on Biological Effects of Noise) scale), presentation order of scale points (ascending vs. descending), question location (early vs. late within the questionnaire), and survey season (autumn vs. spring) on reported road traffic noise annoyance was investigated in a postal survey with a stratified random sample of 2386 Swiss residents. Our results showed that early appearance of annoyance questions was significantly associated with higher annoyance scores. Questionnaires filled out in autumn were associated with a significantly higher annoyance rating than in the springtime. No effect was found for the order of response alternatives. Standardized average annoyance scores were slightly higher using the 11-point numerical scale whereas the percentage of highly annoyed respondents was higher based on the 5-point scale, using common cutoff points. In conclusion, placement and presentation of annoyance questions within a questionnaire, as well as the time of the year a survey is carried out, have small but demonstrable effects on the degree of self-reported noise annoyance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Geographical and Temporal Variations in Female Breast Cancer Mortality in the Municipalities of Andalusia (Southern Spain)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1162; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111162
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 6 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
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Abstract
The last published figures have shown geographical variations in mortality with respect to female breast cancer in European countries. However, national health policies need a dynamic image of the geographical variations within the country. The aim of this paper was to describe the
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The last published figures have shown geographical variations in mortality with respect to female breast cancer in European countries. However, national health policies need a dynamic image of the geographical variations within the country. The aim of this paper was to describe the spatial distribution of age-specific mortality rates from female breast cancer in the municipalities of Andalusia (southern Spain) and to analyze its evolution over time from 1981 to 2012. An ecological study was devised. Two spatio-temporal hierarchical Bayesian models were estimated. One of these was used to estimate the age-specific mortality rate for each municipality, together with its time trends, and the other was used to estimate the age-specific rate ratio compared with Spain as a whole. The results showed that 98% of the municipalities exhibited a decreasing or a flat mortality trend for all the age groups. In 2012, the geographical variability of the age-specific mortality rates was small, especially for population groups below 65. In addition, more than 96.6% of the municipalities showed an age-specific mortality rate similar to the corresponding rate for Spain, and there were no identified significant clusters. This information will contribute towards a reflection on the past, present and future of breast cancer outcomes in Andalusia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geographical Variation in Breast Cancer Outcomes)
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Open AccessArticle Overt Primary Hypothyroidism in an Industrial Area in São Paulo, Brazil: The Impact of Public Disclosure
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1161; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111161
Received: 13 September 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
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Abstract
Background: Primary hypothyroidism (PH) is the most common thyroid pathology. Purpose: to evaluate the impact of public disclosure of an unexpected number of PH cases on the frequency of patients seeking medical evaluation for endocrinological diseases. Methods: data on 6306
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Background: Primary hypothyroidism (PH) is the most common thyroid pathology. Purpose: to evaluate the impact of public disclosure of an unexpected number of PH cases on the frequency of patients seeking medical evaluation for endocrinological diseases. Methods: data on 6306 subjects (3356 living in the surroundings of a petrochemical complex and 2950 in a control region) were collected over a 15-year time span. Thyroid function was determined by serum levels of triiodothyronine, thyroxine, free thyroxine and thyrotrophin. Antithyroglobulin and antithyroperoxidase antibodies and sonographic scans of the thyroid were performed in all patients. The data were analyzed via log-linear models to compute odds and odds ratios. Results: An increasing trend in the odds of PH was detected along the observation period with greater slope in the study region than in the control region. The odds of PH in the post-disclosure period (2002 to 2004) are greater than the corresponding ones in the pre-disclosure period (1989 to 2001). Conclusions: This study shows that living in the surroundings of a petrochemical complex may be an important risk factor for PH for both adults and children. Furthermore, public disclosure of such risk factor contributes to the awareness of the problem and to the possibility of an early diagnosis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Determinants, Health Problems, and Food Insecurity in Urban Areas of the Largest City in Cape Verde
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1155; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111155
Received: 5 August 2016 / Revised: 5 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
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Abstract
Urbanization processes are intertwined with nutritional transition because there is easier access to food of low nutritional quality at reduced prices, changing dietary patterns and leading to an increase of non-communicable chronic diseases. This study aims to understand the perceptions for high blood
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Urbanization processes are intertwined with nutritional transition because there is easier access to food of low nutritional quality at reduced prices, changing dietary patterns and leading to an increase of non-communicable chronic diseases. This study aims to understand the perceptions for high blood pressure, obesity, and alcoholism, describing some interactions of these dimensions in the problem of food security in the city of Praia. A qualitative study was carried out under the framework of the research project “UPHI-STAT: Urban Planning and Health Inequalities—moving from macro to micro statistics”. Ten focus groups were conducted in three urban areas with distinct characteristics in the city of Praia, with a total of 48 participants. Participants reported frequent consumption of foods with poor nutritional quality, understanding the potential danger in terms of food security in the city of Praia. Easy access to and high levels of alcohol consumption, and poor quality of traditional drinks were mentioned by participants in the study areas. The impact of the economic situation on the possibility of access to safe and healthy options emerged as a differentiating factor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Place and Health Equity)
Open AccessArticle Complementary Feeding Strategies to Facilitate Acceptance of Fruits and Vegetables: A Narrative Review of the Literature
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1160; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111160
Received: 20 October 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 19 November 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (279 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Complementary feeding (CF), which should begin after exclusive breastfeeding for six months, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), or after four months and before six months according to the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN), is a period when
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Complementary feeding (CF), which should begin after exclusive breastfeeding for six months, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), or after four months and before six months according to the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN), is a period when the infant implicitly learns what, when, how, and how much to eat. At the onset of CF, the brain and the gut are still developing and maturing, and food experiences contribute to shaping brain connections involved in food hedonics and in the control of food intake. These learning processes are likely to have a long-term impact. Children’s consumption of fruit and vegetables (FV) is below recommendations in many countries. Thus, it is crucial to establish preferences for FV early, when infants are learning to eat. The development of food preferences mainly starts when infants discover their first solid foods. This narrative review summarizes the factors that influence FV acceptance at the start of the CF period: previous milk feeding experience; timing of onset of CF; repeated exposures to the food; variety of foods offered as of the start of the CF period; quality and sensory properties of the complementary foods; quality of the meal time context; and parental responsive feeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Prevent Obesity in the First 1000 Days)
Open AccessArticle Drivers’ Visual Search Patterns during Overtaking Maneuvers on Freeway
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1159; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111159
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 25 October 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 19 November 2016
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Abstract
Drivers gather traffic information primarily by means of their vision. Especially during complicated maneuvers, such as overtaking, they need to perceive a variety of characteristics including the lateral and longitudinal distances with other vehicles, the speed of others vehicles, lane occupancy, and so
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Drivers gather traffic information primarily by means of their vision. Especially during complicated maneuvers, such as overtaking, they need to perceive a variety of characteristics including the lateral and longitudinal distances with other vehicles, the speed of others vehicles, lane occupancy, and so on, to avoid crashes. The primary object of this study is to examine the appropriate visual search patterns during overtaking maneuvers on freeways. We designed a series of driving simulating experiments in which the type and speed of the leading vehicle were considered as two influential factors. One hundred and forty participants took part in the study. The participants overtook the leading vehicles just like they would usually do so, and their eye movements were collected by use of the Eye Tracker. The results show that participants’ gaze durations and saccade durations followed normal distribution patterns and that saccade angles followed a log-normal distribution pattern. It was observed that the type of leading vehicle significantly impacted the drivers’ gaze duration and gaze frequency. As the speed of a leading vehicle increased, subjects’ saccade durations became longer and saccade angles became larger. In addition, the initial and destination lanes were found to be key areas with the highest visual allocating proportion, accounting for more than 65% of total visual allocation. Subjects tended to more frequently shift their viewpoints between the initial lane and destination lane in order to search for crucial traffic information. However, they seldom directly shifted their viewpoints between the two wing mirrors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traffic Safety and Injury Prevention)
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