Happy holidays from On Health

Christmas is just around the corner, and as we approach the end of the year we’ve put together 12 of the most interesting articles published in our health sciences journals. From unhealthy cooking habits to Facebook influencing body image, make sure you don’t miss these…

1. Do poor cooking skills lead to unhealthy eating?

Prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of cooking skills in UK adults: cross-sectional analysis of data from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey


We are always being told to eat healthily, but can our cooking skills get in the way of this? Little data currently exists on this topic, but could be important if it helps reduce the number of overweight or obese individuals in the population.

By assessing the cooking skills of participants, this article is the first to explore the prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of adult cooking skills. Suggesting that men and younger adults could be the most at risk….

2. The effect of the war on Syria’s children

Child health in Syria: recognising the lasting effects of warfare on health

Now in its fourth year, the war in Syria has been one of the bloodiest in recent times, and this article discusses the effects the war can have on children, including the less documented longer-term effects.

War can damage the health of children for decades, and affect future generations, therefore understanding the challenges these individuals will go through is important for effective interventions.

3. Gliptins and type 2 diabetes

Antidiabetic treatment with gliptins: focus on cardiovascular effects and outcomes


The traditional oral pharmacological therapy for type 2 diabetes has been found to be less effective after 9 years of treatment. In light of this, the implementation of new or combined therapies which act via different pathways has become necessary.

This article reviews the status of a different therapy, known as the gliptins, and whether this has effects on the cardiovascular system. Although gliptins are a widely accepted therapy for managing type 2 diabetes, could this become the new traditional therapy?

4. Chronic fatigue syndrome and quality of life

Health related quality of life in adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome: a cross-sectional study

Young people with chronic fatigue syndrome are reported to be severely impaired, both physically and mentally; however few have investigated the health related quality of life in these individuals.

This article finds a greater difference in the health related quality of life than was even expected, does this emphasize that chronic fatigue syndrome is a seriously disabling condition?

5. Public perceptions of tobacco harm reduction

Deficiencies in public understanding about tobacco harm reduction: results from a United States national survey


“Tobacco products differ in their relative health harms. The need for educating consumers about such harms is growing as different tobacco products enter the marketplace”

Analyzing data from the Health Information National Trends Survey, this article finds that 65% of the respondents accurately reported that no cigarettes were less harmful than any others.

Although this could definitely be higher, the article identifies that more needs to be done to educate the public to increase their understanding of tobacco harm reduction principles.

6. How long does biomedical research take?

How long does biomedical research take? Studying the time taken between biomedical and health research and its translation into products, policy, and practice

The techniques used to measure such time lags are under-developed.

The time taken for biomedical research to translate into health improvements is known as a ‘time lag’, and this is receiving growing attention in recent research however the techniques used to measure such time lags are under-developed.

This article identified some factors that speed up the translation, and hence reduce the time lags, as well as provide a basis of further methodological work which could help reduce the lags further.

7. Emigrating away from the Irish health system

‘Emigration is a matter of self-preservation. The working conditions . . . are killing us slowly’: qualitative insights into health professional emigration from Ireland

The Irish health system relies heavily on internationally trained staff as many individuals emigrate out of Ireland, to work in a health system elsewhere. Understanding why these individuals choose to leave is important for maintaining a sustainable workforce.

This article used Facebook to assess the reasons health professionals emigrate, finding that the working conditions was one of the primary reasons.

8. The Internet of Things

On the Internet of Things, smart cities and the WHO Healthy Cities


The idea of the ‘Internet of Things’ was first described in 1999. Then a vision, of internet-connected sensors, devices and citizens, this has now become a reality and this article provides an overview of the whole concept.

What are the benefits, or challenges of the internet of Things? And do smart cities have a better chance of becoming healthier? Read the article to find out more about these discussions.

9. Fluoride exposure and neurodevelopmental disorders

Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, characterized by symptoms of inattention and/or impulsivity, is the most common neurodevelopmental disorder of childhood. This is a public health concern because the behavioral symptoms can affect learning and development.

This study aimed to examine the relationship between the exposure to fluoridated water and this neurodevelopmental disorder. Although a correlation was identified, further investigation is needed.

10. Sustainable Development Goals

Health in the sustainable development goals: ready for a paradigm shift?


A set of Sustainable Development Goals are currently in progress and this article reviews the evidence base for the current health proposals. The health agenda aspires to be universally applicable to all countries.

Here, the authors argue that the agenda requires a paradigm shift in the way global health is addressed, and the present five challenges that will need to be met before the development goals can be achieved.

11. Person-centred health care

Compassion in facilitating the development of person-centred health care practice

The person-centred approach focuses on how health care providers relate to people in need of care, it reflects the concept of ‘caring and underpinned by values of mutual respect.

This article presents a lived experience of a doctoral student working to facilitate this approach to care with clinical nurses and their leaders.

12. Does Facebook influence body image?

Comparative effects of Facebook and conventional media on body image dissatisfaction


Appearance comparison is when someone compares themselves to similar others, and this can lead to body image dissatisfaction. This study aimed to determine the relationship between appearance comparison and body image dissatisfaction when exposed to social media images.

The findings recommend that interventions for eating disorders consider social media forums, such as Facebook, in addition to conventional media.

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