Search

Mr Epidemiology

No, I'm not a skin doctor

Month

February 2012

Interesting reads: February 19th – 25th, 2012

I can't take credit for this, but it is pretty accurate.

I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

Have a great weekend!

-Atif

Advertisements

Being active while watching television and other oxymorons

I couldn't find any pictures of NOM-TV or Dutch television programming, so this post has pictures of Dutch food instead. This is "Koffie verkeerd," the Dutch equivalent of "café au lait"

Sedentary behaviour is a growing problem in our society, and one that is now getting the media attention it deserves. It even has it’s own organization – the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network. Some researchers have tried to tackle this issue by promoting exercise while watching TV, although this approach has its critics.

Part of the problem with sedentary behaviour is that our lifestyle and environment encourage it. We live in the so called “information age.” Rather than being active and mobile, we spend most of our day at a computer or desk. This has ramifications not only when we are young, but also for when we get older.

The Dutch government decided to try and tackle this issue by introducing an initiative called “The Netherlands on the Move!” (NOM), along as with a TV show called “The Netherlands on the Move-TV!” (NOM-TV). This program was aimed at encouraging those above the age of 55 to become more active by showing exercises they can do in front of the TV in the comfort of their own house. The show is broadcast at 6:45am and 9:10am, is 15 minutes long, and shows two personal trainers leading five people through a series of exercises, and is watched by an estimated 137,000 people daily. All in all, an interesting and healthy program.

But the question is: what stops people from participating? It’s only 15 minutes, in your own home, once a day. That’s not an unreasonable amount of time, and, in theory, quite attainable. These researchers investigated the effect of perceived competence on participation in NOM-TV; the idea being that if you believe you can do it, you are more likely to.

More after the jump.

Continue reading “Being active while watching television and other oxymorons”

Interesting reads: February 12th – 18th, 2012

This shirt made me laugh (click to go to http://www.strippedscience.com)

I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

  • The 2012 Canadian Obesity Student Meeting, to be held in Edmonton, AB is now accepting abstracts! You should come!
  • On the topic of Valentine’s Day, did you ever wonder if births go up on Valentine’s Day and down on Halloween? Well, they do! From the article:
On Valentine’s Day, which conveys positive symbolism, there was a 3.6% increase in spontaneous births and a 12.1% increase in cesarean births. Whereas, on Halloween, which conveys negative symbolism, there was a 5.3% decrease in spontaneous births and a 16.9% decrease in cesarean births. These effects reached significance at p < .0001 (Levy, Chung and Slade, 2011)
Have a great weekend!

-Atif

Interesting reads: February 5th – 12th, 2012

I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

  • The 2012 Canadian Obesity Student Meeting, to be held in Edmonton, AB is now accepting abstracts! You should come!
  • The above video is unrelated to obesity and epidemiology. I just find it hilarious.
  • Do you find a toque leaves your face uncomfortably cold in the winter? Get a beardhead and never have a cold chin again!
  • This is awesome: The Monty Hall problem is a common example used to mess with students and explain how there are lies, damned lies and statistics. The BayesianBiologist modeled the Monty Hall problem in R, showing how it works. The code is included.
  • In Epi news, there’s a great map available here of John Snow‘s original cholera outbreak.
  • In preparation for Valentine’s Day, there was an amusing hashtag going around on Twitter: #healthpolicyvalentines
Have a great weekend!

-Atif

Guest Post on Obesity Panacea: On giving back and scientific philanthropy

While we have a lot of obvious formal responsibilities as researchers, one aspect of our job that is not talked about is mentoring. While this can refer to formal mentoring of students, I also believe that this encompasses talking to High School and Middle School aged youth about science, and encouraging them to consider science if they want to pursue higher education.

With that in mind, I wrote a guest post for the guys over at Obesity Panacea (click the image above to read it). I hope that people enjoy it, and I hope that labs take this as an opportunity to volunteer their time and experience in judging science fairs (if not more).

Take a read of it and let me know what you think. In particular, the issue of female mentors. I can’t speak to it myself, and the feedback I received on drafts of the posts varied from “it’s not as big a problem as it was” to “it’s important and needs to be talked about.” So my instinct is that this varies depending on personal experience. What do you think?

-Mr Epidemiology

Special thanks to Jess, Kim, Anne, Rachel and Mariane for feedback on this post!

Update: New address – www.mrepidemiology.com

Hi all,

I recently registered www.mrepidemiology.com. Assuming that the tubes realign properly, you should be automagically redirected to that URL. Otherwise, please update your browsers.

All the previous links should still work, but if there are any problems, let me know and I’ll have my tech guy take a look at them (i.e. me wearing a Transformers shirt).

Thanks,

Atif

Interesting reads: January 29th – February 4th, 2012

I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

  • The 2012 Canadian Obesity Student Meeting, to be held in Edmonton, AB is now accepting abstracts! You should come!
  • The CDC provides some advice on how to make healthy Superbowl Snacks! (my favourite part of Superbowl Sunday!)
  • While we’re talking about sports; why do we always think our team is the best? Answer: It’s all in your head.
  • Friend of the blog Travis Saunders talks about whether it’s time for new thinking around peer review
  • Dr Sharma discusses obesity and mental health for an editorial in an upcoming issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry
Have a great weekend!

-Atif

Mr Epidemiology in the news!

This was one of the interviews that I did! (Picture courtesy Rachel L.)

Recently I had a paper of mine published in the journal Obesity Facts. I was thrilled – this was one of the papers from my MSc and it had finally found a home for itself, after being rejected from three separate journals. Friend of the blog Dr Arya Sharma heard about the study, and covered it in his blog.

And that’s where things got crazy.

Queen’s put out a press release that got picked up by the media, and so I spent the better part of last week doing interviews. Among the news outlets that I talked to were the CBC, Global News, The Globe and Mail, the National Post, Canada.com, the Kingston Whig Standard and Yahoo News.

I also did radio interviews with several stations including The Motts (interview starts @ 23 minutes), The Scott Thompson Show on CHML Hamilton (Jan 24th 2012) and The Richard Brown Show on CKOM 650.

I just want to thank all the wonderful reporters who I talked to. They were really helpful and very insightful in what they asked. It was a new experience for me, and their patience was absolutely incredible. I’ll be posting some reflections next week on my dealings with the media – while it was an absolutely phenomenal experience and a huge honour, it was also terrifying and a little surreal.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: