Tag Archives: health

The Future of Microbiome Research

Microorganisms are continually with and around us. They reside outdoors in soil and water and coexist indoors where people live and work. They are found in and on pets, plants, and rodents; in water; in dirt tracked indoors on shoes; and in the air that enters buildings. Microorganisms also live on human skin and in systems such as the digestive tract.

Recent studies have taken advantage of the development of novel tools to quantify and sequence the DNA of communities of microbes and study their functions, revealing their abundance and complexity but leaving still more questions than answers about what these communities are doing and what functions they serve in humans, animals, and our environments. These publications examine the current body of knowledge surrounding microbiomes and make recommendations for future research.

Microbiomes of the Built Environment: A Research Agenda for Indoor Microbiology, Human Health, and Buildings

People’s desire to understand the environments in which they live is a natural one. People spend most of their time in spaces and structures designed, built, and managed by humans, and it is estimated that people in developed countries now spend 90 percent of their lives indoors. As people …

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Animal Models for Microbiome Research: Advancing Basic and Translational Science: Proceedings of a Workshop

The surface of the human body and its mucous membranes are heavily colonized by microorganisms. Our understanding of the contributions that complex microbial communities make to health and disease is advancing rapidly. Most microbiome research to date has focused on the mouse as a model organism …

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The Chemistry of Microbiomes: Proceedings of a Seminar Series

The 21st century has witnessed a complete revolution in the understanding and description of bacteria in eco- systems and microbial assemblages, and how they are regulated by complex interactions among microbes, hosts, and environments. The human organism is no longer considered a monolithic …

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Environmental Chemicals, the Human Microbiome, and Health Risk: A Research Strategy

A great number of diverse microorganisms inhabit the human body and are collectively referred to as the human microbiome. Until recently, the role of the human microbiome in maintaining human health was not fully appreciated. Today, however, research is beginning to elucidate associations …

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The Human Microbiome, Diet, and Health: Workshop Summary

The Food Forum convened a public workshop on February 22-23, 2012, to explore current and emerging knowledge of the human microbiome, its role in human health, its interaction with the diet, and the translation of new research findings into tools and products that improve the nutritional …

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Microbial Ecology in States of Health and Disease: Workshop Summary

Individually and collectively, resident microbes play important roles in host health and survival. Shaping and shaped by their host environments, these microorganisms form intricate communities that are in a state of dynamic equilibrium. This ecologic and dynamic view of host-microbe …

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The Science and Applications of Microbial Genomics: Workshop Summary

Over the past several decades, new scientific tools and approaches for detecting microbial species have dramatically enhanced our appreciation of the diversity and abundance of the microbiota and its dynamic interactions with the environments within which these microorganisms reside. The first …

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Toward Precision Medicine: Building a Knowledge Network for Biomedical Research and a New Taxonomy of Disease

Motivated by the explosion of molecular data on humans-particularly data associated with individual patients-and the sense that there are large, as-yet-untapped opportunities to use this data to improve health outcomes, Toward Precision Medicine explores the feasibility and need for “a …

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The Social Biology of Microbial Communities: Workshop Summary

Beginning with the germ theory of disease in the 19th century and extending through most of the 20th century, microbes were believed to live their lives as solitary, unicellular, disease-causing organisms . This perception stemmed from the focus of most investigators on organisms that could be …

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Caring for an Aging Population

This year marks the 10th anniversary of our influential book, Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce. It called for bold initiatives to train all health care providers in the basics of geriatric care and to prepare family members and other informal caregivers, who might receive little or no training in how to tend to their aging loved ones. Retooling for an Aging America and our other publications remain essential resources for the care of our aging population.

Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce

As the first of the nation’s 78 million baby boomers begin reaching age 65 in 2011, they will face a health care workforce that is too small and woefully unprepared to meet their specific health needs.

Retooling for an Aging America calls for bold initiatives starting immediately to train …

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Families Caring for an Aging America

Family caregiving affects millions of Americans every day, in all walks of life. At least 17.7 million individuals in the United States are caregivers of an older adult with a health or functional limitation. The nation’s family caregivers provide the lion’s share of long-term care for our …

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Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life

For patients and their loved ones, no care decisions are more profound than those made near the end of life. Unfortunately, the experience of dying in the United States is often characterized by fragmented care, inadequate treatment of distressing symptoms, frequent transitions among care …

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The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands?

At least 5.6 million to 8 million–nearly one in five–older adults in America have one or more mental health and substance use conditions, which present unique challenges for their care. With the number of adults age 65 and older projected to soar from 40.3 million in 2010 to 72.1 million by …

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Strengthening the Workforce to Support Community Living and Participation for Older Adults and Individuals with Disabilities: Proceedings of a Workshop

As the demographics of the United States shift toward a population that is made up of an increasing percentage of older adults and people with disabilities, the workforce that supports and enables these individuals is also shifting to meet the demands of this population. For many older adults …

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Financing Long-Term Services and Supports for Individuals with Disabilities and Older Adults: Workshop Summary

Financing Long-Term Services and Supports for Individuals with Disabilities and Older Adults is the summary of a workshop convened in June 2013 by the Forum on Aging, Disability, and Independence of the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council to examine the financing of …

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Policy and Research Needs to Maximize Independence and Support Community Living: Workshop Summary

Living independently and participating in one’s community are priorities for many people. In many regions across the United States, there are programs that support and enable people with disabilities and older adults to live where they choose and with whom they choose and to participate fully …

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New Directions in the Sociology of Aging

The aging of the population of the United States is occurring at a time of major economic and social changes. These economic changes include consideration of increases in the age of eligibility for Social Security and Medicare and possible changes in benefit levels. Furthermore, changes in the …

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The Future of Home Health Care: Workshop Summary

Individuals with disabilities, chronic conditions, and functional impairments need a range of services and supports to keep living independently. However, there often is not a strong link between medical care provided in the home and the necessary social services and supports for independent …

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Health Care Comes Home: The Human Factors

In the United States, health care devices, technologies, and practices are rapidly moving into the home. The factors driving this migration include the costs of health care, the growing numbers of older adults, the increasing prevalence of chronic conditions and diseases and improved survival …

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Elder Abuse and Its Prevention: Workshop Summary

Elder Abuse and Its Prevention is the summary of a workshop convened in April 2013 by the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Global Violence Prevention. Using an ecological framework, this workshop explored the burden of elder abuse around the world, focusing on its impacts on individuals, …

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Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation in an Aging America

Since the late 1970s when Congressman Claude Pepper held widely publicized hearings on the mistreatment of the elderly, policy makers and practitioners have sought ways to protect older Americans from physical, psychological, and financial abuse. Yet, during the last 20 years fewer than 50 articles …

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Take 5: Top Books on Health and Medicine

Got health professionals on your holiday shopping list? Take five and check out our top gift ideas. NAP books and merchandise make thoughtful gifts for thinking people.

Relieving Pain in America
Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and ResearchChronic pain affects at least 116 million American adults–more than the total affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. It costs the nation up to $635 billion each year in medical treatment and lost productivity. Pain is a uniquely individual…

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The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People
The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better UnderstandingAt a time when lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals–often referred to under the umbrella acronym LGBT–are becoming more visible in society and more socially acknowledged, clinicians and researchers are faced with incomplete information about..

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The Future of Nursing
The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing HealthThe Future of Nursing explores how nurses’ roles, responsibilities, and education should change significantly to meet the increased demand for care that will be created by health care reform and to advance improvements in America’s increasingly…

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For the Public's Health
For the Public’s Health: The Role of Measurement in Action and AccountabilityDespite having the costliest medical care delivery system in the world, Americans are not particularly healthy. Recent international comparisons show that life expectancy in the U.S. ranks 49th among all nations, and infant mortality rates are higher in the…

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Accounting for Health and Health Care
Accounting for Health and Health Care: Approaches to Measuring the Sources and Costs of Their ImprovementIt has become trite to observe that increases in health care costs have become unsustainable. How best for policy to address these increases, however, depends in part on the degree to which they represent increases in the real quantity of medical services as..

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Take 5: Top Books on Food and Nutrition

Got food and nutrition fans on your holiday shopping list? Take five and check out our top gift ideas. NAP books and merchandise make thoughtful gifts for thinking people.

Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies
Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies

Childhood obesity is a serious health problem that has adverse and long-lasting consequences for individuals, families, and communities. The magnitude of the problem has increased dramatically during the last three decades and, despite some indications of a…
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Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D
Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D

Calcium and vitamin D are essential nutrients for the human body. Establishing the levels of these nutrients that are needed by the North American population is based on the understanding of the health outcomes that calcium and vitamin D affect. It is also…
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Child and Adult Care Food Program
Child and Adult Care Food Program: Aligning Dietary Guidance for All

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federally-funded program designed to provide healthy meals and snacks to children and adults while receiving day care at participating family day care homes, traditional child care centers, afterschool…
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexamining the Guidelines

As women of childbearing age have become heavier, the trade-off between maternal and child health created by variation in gestational weight gain has become more difficult to reconcile. Weight Gain During Pregnancy responds to the need for a…
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Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States
Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States

Reducing the intake of sodium is an important public health goal for Americans. Since the 1970s, an array of public health interventions and national dietary guidelines has sought to reduce sodium intake. However, the U.S. population still consumes more…
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NRC and IOM Led Efforts to Reduce Smoking in the United States

The National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine have a history of leading efforts to reduce smoking in the United States for the benefit of public health. Twenty-five years ago this month, the National Research Council released a highly influential report that led to the smoking ban on airliners. Dr. Donald Stedman shared with us his recollections from the time when he served as a member of the NRC authoring committee for The Airliner Cabin Environment: Air Quality and Safety.

“I believe that my participation in that committee will stand as my major contribution to human welfare regardless of my research and other activities. Twenty-five years ago the tobacco industry owned the media. If an editor put in anything bad about tobacco his paper lost their cigarette ad revenue. Congress did indeed pass the ban [on smoking on flights] but only for short flights and only for two years. Then their mail was apparently 100-1 in favor of a nationwide ban, which they did, and now it is worldwide.”

Since publication of this National Research Council report, the Institute of Medicine has continued to lead the way in the fight to lower the U.S. smoking rate. Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation reviewed effective prevention and treatment interventions and new tobacco control policies for adoption by federal and state governments. Some of this book’s recommendations were considered controversial at the time, such as smoking bans for all nonresidential indoor settings nationwide and a requirement for all public and private health insurance plans to make coverage of smoking cessation programs a lifetime benefit.

More recently, Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence focused on the relationship between secondhand smoke and heart problems. This book reported that smoking bans are an effective way to reduce the risk of heart attacks and heart disease associated with exposure to secondhand smoke. The book also confirmed that there is sufficient evidence that breathing secondhand smoke boosts nonsmokers’ risk for heart problems.

These and other books about the public health effects of smoking are available to read or download.

Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation
Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation

The nation has made tremendous progress in reducing tobacco use during the past 40 years. Despite extensive knowledge about successful interventions, however, approximately one-quarter of American adults still smoke. Tobacco-related illnesses and death place a huge burden on our society…
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Consumer Health Information Technology in the Home
Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence

Data suggest that exposure to secondhand smoke can result in heart disease in nonsmoking adults. Recently, progress has been made in reducing involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke through legislation banning smoking in workplaces, restaurants, and other public places. The effect …
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Consumer Health Information Technology in the Home
Clearing the Smoke: Assessing the Science Base for Tobacco Harm Reduction

Despite overwhelming evidence of tobacco’s harmful effects and pressure from anti-smoking advocates, current surveys show that about one-quarter of all adults in the United States are smokers. This audience is the target for a wave of tobacco products and …
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Consumer Health Information Technology in the Home
Growing Up Tobacco Free: Preventing Nicotine Addiction in Children and Youths

Tobacco use kills more people than any other addiction and we know that addiction starts in childhood and youth. We all agree that youths should not smoke, but how can this be accomplished? What prevention messages will they find compelling? …
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Consumer Health Information Technology in the Home
Combating Tobacco Use in Military and Veteran Populations

The health and economic costs of tobacco use in military and veteran populations are high. In 2007, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) make recommendations on how …
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Consumer Health Information Technology in the Home
The Airliner Cabin Environment and the Health of Passengers and Crew

Although poor air quality is probably not the hazard that is foremost in peoples minds as they board planes, it has been a concern for years. Passengers have complained about dry eyes, sore throat, dizziness, headaches, and other …
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Health Care Comes Home
The Airliner Cabin Environment: Air Quality and Safety

Each year Americans take more than 300 million plane trips staffed by a total of some 70,000 flight attendants. The health and safety of these individuals are the focus of this volume from the Committee on Airliner Cabin Air Quality. …
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Focusing on Human Factors Can Improve Home Health Care

“There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers; those who are currently caregivers; those who will be caregivers; and those who will need caregivers.” –Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter

People with temporary or chronic conditions monitor themselves or others with daily use of medical devices such as blood pressure cuffs, blood sugar test strips, or heart monitors. Others use medical devices such as nebulizers or physical therapy aids to maintain or improve their own or someone else’s health. These procedures and many others may or may not be done with a health care professional on-site. A wide range of procedures and therapies are now performed far from any medical facility. Although each situation is unique, all are dependent on the people involved—the human factors.

The study of human factors focuses on the interactions between people and the other elements of a system, generally with the goal of optimizing safety and performance. Elements of the system may include tasks, technologies, and environments, as well as other people. The success of these interactions is dependent on the degree to which the physical, sensory, cognitive, and emotional capabilities of the people match the corresponding demands imposed by elements of the system.

Health Care Comes Home: The Human Factors is a wide-ranging investigation of the role of human factors in home health care. This book examines a diverse range of behavioral and human factors issues resulting from the increasing migration of medical devices, technologies, and care practices into the home. Health Care Comes Home lays the groundwork for a thorough integration of human factors research with the design and implementation of home health care devices, technologies, and practices.

The Role of Human Factors in Home Health Care: Workshop Summary provides information on human factors aspects of home health care. This book promotes awareness of the challenges of home health care and provides practical information that can be used by providers of home health care.

In addition, the authoring committee of Health Care Comes Home oversaw preparation of a designers’ guide for the use of health information technologies in home-based health care. Consumer Health Information Technology in the Home: A Guide for Human Factors Design Considerations introduces designers and developers to the practical realities and complexities of managing health care at home. This booklet provides guidance and human factors considerations that will help designers and developers create consumer health information technology applications that are useful resources to achieve better health.

Together, these books and materials are a useful tool for organizations and people concerned with health care in the home. These publications bring attention to both the serious challenges of providing quality home health care, and to the efforts to address those challenges.

Health Care Comes Home
Health Care Comes Home: The Human Factors

In the United States, health care devices, technologies, and practices are rapidly moving into the home. The factors driving this migration include the costs of health care, the growing numbers of older adults, the increasing prevalence of chronic conditions…
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The Role of Human Factors in Home Health Care
The Role of Human Factors in Home Health Care: Workshop Summary

The rapid growth of home health care has raised many unsolved issues and will have consequences that are far too broad for any one group to analyze in their entirety. Yet a major influence on the safety, quality, and effectiveness of home health care will be…
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Consumer Health Information Technology in the Home
Consumer Health Information Technology in the Home: A Guide for Human Factors Design Considerations

Every day, in households across the country, people engage in behavior to improve their current health, recover from disease and injury, or cope with chronic, debilitating conditions. Innovative computer and information systems may help these people manage…
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New Report States Smoking and Obesity Shrink U.S. Lifespans

A new report released Tuesday says that the nation’s history of heavy smoking is a major reason why lifespans in the U.S. fall short of those in many other high-income nations, and evidence suggests that current obesity levels also play a substantial part. According to Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries, three to five decades ago smoking was much more widespread in the U.S. than in Europe or Japan, and the health consequences are still playing out in today’s mortality rates. Smoking appears to be responsible for a good deal of the differences in life expectancy, especially for women. Obesity’s contribution to lagging life expectancies in the U.S. also appears to be significant. It may account for a fifth to a third of the shortfall in longevity in the U.S. compared to other nations. And if the obesity trend in the U.S. continues, it may offset the longevity improvements expected from reductions in smoking.

The Institute of Medicine has published a number of books that address the problem of smoking in our nation. The most recent, Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence addresses health effects of secondhand smoke. This book assesses the relationship between secondhand smoke exposure and acute coronary events. It also surveys critical epidemiological studies on the effects of smoking bans and evidence of links between secondhand smoke exposure and cardiovascular events.

The health and well-being of children in the United States are threatened by the ever-increasing number and percentage who are overweight and obese—now at one in four children. Childhood and adolescent obesity has increased dramatically in just three decades. Obese children and adolescents are more likely to have hypertension, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes when they are young, and they also are more likely to be obese when they are adults. Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity serves as a tool for local government officials and those who work in partnership with them to help in tackling the prevention of childhood obesity in their jurisdictions.

These books and others from the Institute of Medicine provide information, recommendations, and analysis to assist decision-makers.

Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries

Over the last 25 years, life expectancy at age 50 in the U.S. has been rising, but at a slower pace than in many other high-income countries, such as Japan and Australia. This difference is particularly notable given that the U.S. spends more on health care…
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Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence

Data suggest that exposure to secondhand smoke can result in heart disease in nonsmoking adults. Recently, progress has been made in reducing involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke through legislation banning smoking in workplaces, restaurants, and other…
Details

Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity

The prevalence of childhood obesity is so high in the United States that it may reduce the life expectancy of today’s generation of children. While parents and other adult caregivers play a fundamental role in teaching children about healthy behaviors, even…
Details

Combating Tobacco Use in Military and Veteran Populations Combating Tobacco Use in Military and Veteran Populations

The health and economic costs of tobacco use in military and veteran populations are high. In 2007, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) make recommendations on how to…
Details

Ending the Tobacco Problem Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation

The nation has made tremendous progress in reducing tobacco use during the past 40 years. Despite extensive knowledge about successful interventions, however, approximately one-quarter of American adults still smoke. Tobacco-related illnesses and death place a…
Details

Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention: A Framework to Inform Decision Making

To battle the obesity epidemic in America, health care professionals and policymakers need relevant, useful data on the effectiveness of obesity prevention policies and programs. Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention identifies a new…
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Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up?

The remarkable increase in the prevalence of obesity among children and youth in the United States over a relatively short timespan represents one of the defining public health challenges of the 21st century. The country is beginning to recognize childhood…
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Living in a Food Desert: How Lack of Access to Healthy Foods Can Affect Public Health

Need to run to the grocery store? For some of us, this is relatively easy because we probably live fairly close to one. For others, a trip to a grocery store represents a significant transportation challenge. In the United States, “food deserts”, neighborhoods and communities that have limited access to affordable and nutritious foods, tend to be located in urban and rural low-income neighborhoods. People who live in these areas are less likely to have access to supermarkets or grocery stores that provide healthy choices for food. With limited or no access to food retailers or supermarkets that stock fresh produce, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and other healthy foods, these populations may be more likely to suffer from high rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

The Public Health Effect of Food Deserts: Workshop Summary discusses the public health effects—including the prevalence of obesity and the incidence of chronic diseases—of food deserts. This book offers insight on the extent of food deserts, their impact on individual behaviors and health outcomes in various populations, and effective ways to increase the availability of fruits and vegetables and to improve the food environment.

One serious health consequence of living in food deserts is, ironically, obesity. Without ready access to nutritious foods, people living in food deserts often have diets that are high in calories but low in nutritional value. To address this particular public health concern, the Institute of Medicine has published a number of reports that examine how we can roll back the obesity epidemic in the United States.

Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention: A Framework to Inform Decision Making examines obesity as a societal problem that affects whole populations, like those living in food deserts. This book features a practical, action-oriented framework to support the use of evidence in decision-making about obesity prevention policies and programs and sets a course for the development of new and relevant research.

The books mentioned above and others from the Institute of Medicine provide information and guidance for decision-makers to respond to the challenges of food deserts and their impact on our society.

The Public Health Effects of Food Deserts

The Public Health Effects of Food Deserts: Workshop Summary

In the United States, people living in low-income neighborhoods frequently do not have access to affordable healthy food venues, such as supermarkets. Instead, those living in “food deserts” must rely on convenience stores and small neighborhood stores that…

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Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention

Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention: A Framework to Inform Decision Making

To battle the obesity epidemic in America, health care professionals and policymakers need relevant, useful data on the effectiveness of obesity prevention policies and programs. Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention identifies a new…

Details

Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity

Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity

The prevalence of childhood obesity is so high in the United States that it may reduce the life expectancy of today’s generation of children. While parents and other adult caregivers play a fundamental role in teaching children about healthy behaviors, even…

Details

Community Perspectives on Obesity Prevention in Children

Community Perspectives on Obesity Prevention in Children: Workshop Summaries

As the public health threat of childhood obesity has become clear, the issue has become the focus of local, state, and national initiatives. Many of these efforts are centered on the community environment in recognition of the role of environmental factors in…

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Childhood Obesity Prevention in Texas

Childhood Obesity Prevention in Texas: Workshop Summary

Childhood Obesity Prevention in Texas summarizes the information gathered at a workshop held February 5-6, 2009, in Austin, Texas. At this workshop, committee members met with Texas lawmakers, public officials, and community leaders to exchange ideas…

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Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity

Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up?

The remarkable increase in the prevalence of obesity among children and youth in the United States over a relatively short timespan represents one of the defining public health challenges of the 21st century. The country is beginning to recognize childhood…

Details

Perspectives from United Kingdom and United States Policy Makers on Obesity Prevention

Perspectives from United Kingdom and United States Policy Makers on Obesity Prevention: Workshop Summary

Both the United Kingdom and the United States are grappling with nationwide epidemics of obesity. Obesity contributes to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers, among other diseases. Although many people are aware of obesity’s causes and…

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Joint U.S.-Mexico Workshop on Preventing Obesity in Children and Youth of Mexican Origin

Joint U.S.-Mexico Workshop on Preventing Obesity in Children and Youth of Mexican Origin: Summary

The Joint U.S.-Mexico Workshop on Preventing Obesity in Children and Youth of Mexican Origin was initiated by a desire to share experiences regarding the problem of obesity in children…

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DNA Testing: From the Doctor’s Office to the Drugstore

The Human Genome Project, completed in 2003, identified the genes that make up human DNA. Major advances in genomic technologies in the early 21st century have helped to increase dramatically the number of genes identified as playing a role in a variety of common disorders. Genetic or genomic testing can be used to guide medical decision-making and treatment, ranging from personalized drug therapy to assessing an individual’s risk of developing common chronic diseases.

New reports from the Institute of Medicine discuss various possibilities for the future and potential issues that could arise from our ever-expanding knowledge of our genetic makeup. The Value of Genetic and Genomic Technologies: Workshop Summary explores the concept of value in regards to genomics and genetics and how that concept affects the ways decisions are made about using tests and technologies. This book brings together diverse perspectives on the value of genetic testing and discusses its use in clinical practice.

Advances in our understanding of genomics, combined with significant reductions in the cost of genetic tests, have spawned new business models in which companies market genetic tests and personalized genetic profiles directly to consumers. For example, it is now possible to purchase a home DNA paternity test at many pharmacies in the United States. Special DNA test kits allow anyone to trace their ancestry. Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: Summary of a Workshop discusses the scientific and ethical foundations for commercial genetic testing, personal and social issues, research and medical issues, and the impact on health care and public health.

These books and others from the Institute of Medicine explore the possibilities and directions for the future for both researchers and private industry.

The Value of Genetic and Genomic Technologies

The Value of Genetic and Genomic Technologies: Workshop Summary

Knowing one’s genetic disposition to a variety of diseases, including common chronic diseases, can benefit both the individual and society at large. The IOM’s Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health held a workshop on March 22, 2010, to…
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Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing

Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: Summary of a Workshop

Today, scores of companies, primarily in the United States and Europe, are offering whole genome scanning services directly to the public. The proliferation of these companies and the services they offer demonstrate a public appetite for this information and…
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Establishing Precompetitive Collaborations to Stimulate Genomics-Driven Drug Development

Establishing Precompetitive Collaborations to Stimulate Genomics-Driven Drug Development: Workshop Summary

Despite the many basic research discoveries in genetics, relatively few gene-based treatments, drugs, or preventative measures have been developed. One way to bridge this gap may be for industry, academia, and government to develop partnerships that share…
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Systems for Research and Evaluation for Translating Genome-Based Discoveries for Health

Systems for Research and Evaluation for Translating Genome-Based Discoveries for Health: Workshop Summary

With the advent of genome-wide association studies, numerous associations between specific gene loci and complex diseases have been identified–for breast cancer, coronary artery disease, and asthma, for example. This rapidly advancing field of genomics has…
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Innovations in Service Delivery in the Age of Genomics

Innovations in Service Delivery in the Age of Genomics: Workshop Summary

New discoveries in genomics–that is, the study of the entire human genome–are changing how we diagnose and treat diseases. As the trend shifts from genetic testing largely being undertaken for rare genetic disorders to, increasingly, individuals being…
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Diffusion and Use of Genomic Innovations in Health and Medicine

Diffusion and Use of Genomic Innovations in Health and Medicine: Workshop Summary

Until fairly recently, genetic information was used primarily in the diagnosis of relatively rare genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s Disease, but a transformation in the use of genetic and genomic information is underway. While…
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