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Health food movement stops short of vending machines

Hungry and seeking a nutritious snack, vending consumers often find themselves struggling to locate a suitable selection. The lack of healthy options in vending machines has raised concerns among schools, public interest groups and public health researchers.

According to a recent article published in the Star Tribune, the health food movement stopped short of vending machines in public facilities. About 75 percent of items found in vending machines analyzed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest consisted of candy, cookies and chips. Similar trends are seen in beverage vending machines as 56 percent of the drinks are soda, and an additional 20 percent of drinks are energy or artificial fruit drinks.

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research-and-clinical-trials

University of Minnesota study: More effective alcohol policies ignored while less effective passed into law

What works to prevent alcohol-related deaths and binge drinking isn’t always what makes it into law. A new study finds that policymakers are significantly more likely to adopt ineffective alcohol policies than they are to adopt effective ones. Researchers at the University of Minnesota and Boston University tracked 29 different state alcohol control policies from 1999 through 2011 and found that that none of the policies rated to be the most effective for reducing excessive drinking were either adopted or strengthened during the study period. During that same period they noted an increase in adoption of policies that were comparatively less effective, or that targeted only youth drinking or impaired driving.

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in-the-news

In the News: U of M Study: PTSD symptoms linked to food addiction in women

New research suggests women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms may be more likely to experience food addiction or dependence.

The study conducted by epidemiologist Susan Mason, M.P.H., Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health was recently published in JAMA Psychiatry.

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in-the-news

U of M study reveals kids exposed to more fat shaming comments on TV than adults

In a general sense, children’s television has a reputation for being politically correct, however, a new study reveals television aimed at kids contains just as many, if not more, weight-stigmatizing, or fat shaming, conversations.

The study led by Marla Eisenberg Sc.D., M.P.H., an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, was recently published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders. Eisenberg analyzed the content of more than 30 episodes of popular kid shows and identified the number of weight-stigmatizing incidents.

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research-and-clinical-trials

U of M study: Increasing access to and awareness of doula support may be beneficial financially and medically

A new study shows increased access to continuous labor support from a birth doula may help decrease non-indicated cesarean births among women who desire doula care. The research was conducted at the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota.

A doula is a trained professional who provides support to women before, during, and after childbirth. This study examined who has access to doula care and the benefits of that access among a national sample of 2,400 women who gave birth in 2011-2012.

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in-the-news

In The News: Maternal Mental Illness

More than 500,000 women in the United States encounter postpartum depression every year. According to a new article co-authored by Katy Kozhimannil, Ph.D., School of Public Health, depression symptoms can start during pregnancy — negatively impacting both the mother and baby.

“…maternal illness adversely affects infant brain development and subsequent social and emotional health as a result of inadequate prenatal care, poor birth outcomes, and impaired parenting practices,” Kozhimannil and co-author Helen Kim wrote last week in Science Magazine.

Some states across the country have started screening and treatment for depression, but according to Kozhimannil and Kim, that’s not enough.

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