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Changing household dietary behaviours through community-based networks: A pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial in rural Kerala, India

Rolf Wahlström; T. K. Sundari Ravindran; P. Sankara Sarma; S. Sivasankaran and K. R. Thankappan.

PLOS One. 2018.


Trial design
With the rise in prevalence of non-communicable diseases in India and Kerala in particular, efforts to develop lifestyle interventions have increased. However, contextualised interventions are limited. We developed and implemented contextualised behavioural intervention strategies focusing on household dietary behaviours in selected rural areas in Kerala and conducted a community-based pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial to assess its effectiveness to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables at individual level, and the procurement of fruits and vegetables at the household level and reduce the consumption of salt, sugar and oil at the household level.

Six out of 22 administrative units in the northern part of Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala state were selected as geographic boundaries and randomized to either intervention or control arms. Stratified sampling was carried out and 30 clusters comprising 6–11 households were selected in each arm. A cluster was defined as a neighbourhood group functioning in rural areas under a state-sponsored community-based network (Kudumbasree). We screened 1237 households and recruited 479 (intervention: 240; control: 239) households and individuals (male or female aged 25–45 years) across the 60 clusters.

471 households and individuals completed the intervention and end-line survey and one was excluded due to pregnancy. Interventions were delivered for a period of one-year at household level at 0, 6, and 12 months, including counselling sessions, telephonic reminders, home visits and general awareness sessions through the respective neighbourhood groups in the intervention arm. Households in the control arm received general dietary information leaflets. Data from 478 households (239 in each arm) were included in the intention-to-treat analysis, with the household as the unit of analysis.

There was significant, modest increase in fruit intake from baseline in the intervention arm (12.5%); but no significant impact of the intervention on vegetable intake over the control arm. There was a significant increase in vegetable procurement in the intervention arm compared to the control arm with the actual effect size showing an overall increase by19%; 34% of all households in the intervention arm had increased their procurement by at least 20%, compared to 17% in the control arm. Monthly household consumption of salt, sugar and oil was greatly reduced in the intervention arm compared to the control arm with the actual effect sizes showing an overall reduction by 45%, 40% and 48% respectively.

The intervention enabled significant reduction in salt, sugar and oil consumption and improvement in fruit and vegetable procurement at the household level in the intervention arm. However, there was a disconnect between the demonstrated increase in FV procurement and the lack of increase in FV intake. We need to explore fruit and vegetable intake behaviour further to identify strategies or components that would have made a difference. We can take forward the lessons learned from this study to improve our understanding of human dietary behaviour and how that can be changed to improve health within this context.

URL: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0201877

Courtesy: PLOS ONE


Migration Health Annual Report 2017

International Organization for Migration (IOM), 2018.

The International Organization’s (IOM) Migration Health Division acts with Member States, UN agencies and other partners in the international community to meet the operational challenges of migration, advance understanding of migration issues, encourage social and economic development through migration, and work towards ensuring respect of the human dignity and well-being of migrants.

This report provides a snapshot of IOM’s health activities in 2017 and presents key achievements under three broad themes: (a) partnerships in migration health; (b) migration health in the context of crisis; and (c) disease prevention and response.

The report illustrates IOM’s growing multidimensional migration health activities and partnerships in 2017, and demonstrates IOM’s commitment to advancing the health of migrants and their families worldwide, as well as supporting IOM Member States in addressing migration health challenges.

url – https://publications.iom.int/system/files/pdf/mhd_ar2017.pdf
courtesy – IOM

National Bureau of Economic Research Latest Working Papers during the week of October 15, 2018

The following NBER Working Papers were released in electronic format this week. Abbreviations in parentheses refer to NBER Research Programs. (visit http://www.nber.org/programs for Program information.)

1.  The Impact of Corporate Taxes on Firm Innovation:  Evidence from the Corporate Tax Collection Reform in China by Jing Cai, Yuyu Chen, Xuan Wang #25146 (DEV PE PR) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25146?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

2.  Bank Balance Sheet Capacity and the Limits of Shadow Banks by Greg Buchak, Gregor Matvos, Tomasz Piskorski, Amit Seru #25149 (CF IO) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25149?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

3.  Arbitration with Uninformed Consumers by Mark L. Egan, Gregor Matvos, Amit Seru #25150 (CF LE) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25150?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

4.  The Impact of Industry Consolidation on Government Procurement: Evidence from Department of Defense  Contracting by Rodrigo Carril, Mark Duggan #25160 (IO PE) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25160?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

5.  New Technologies, Global Value Chains, and Developing Economies by Dani Rodrik #25164 (DEV EFG ITI)

6.  The Institutional Foundations of Religious Politics: Evidence from Indonesia by Samuel Bazzi, Gabriel Koehler-Derrick, Benjamin Marx #25151 (DEV POL) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25151?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

7.  Unequal Use of Social Insurance Benefits: The Role of Employers by Sarah Bana, Kelly Bedard, Maya Rossin-Slater, Jenna Stearns #25163 (LS PE) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25163?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

8.  Partial Rating Area Offering in the ACA Marketplaces: Facts, Theory and Evidence by Hanming Fang, Ami Ko #25154 (HC HE IO PE) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25154?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

9.  The Impact of Insurance Expansions on the Already Insured: The Affordable Care Act and Medicare by Colleen M. Carey, Sarah Miller, Laura R. Wherry #25153 (HC HE) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25153?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

10.  The Role of Parental Wealth and Income in Financing Children’s College Attendance and Its Consequences by V. Joseph Hotz, Emily E. Wiemers, Joshua Rasmussen, Kate Maxwell Koegel #25144 (CH ED)

11.  Mortgage Prepayment and Path-Dependent Effects of Monetary Policy by David W. Berger, Konstantin Milbradt, Fabrice Tourre, Joseph Vavra #25157 (EFG ME PE) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25157?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

12.  Errors in Survey Reporting and Imputation and their Effects on Estimates of Food Stamp Program Participation by Bruce D. Meyer, Nikolas Mittag, Robert M. Goerge #25143 (CH HE LS PE TWP) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25143?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

13.  The Role of Exporters and Domestic Producers in GVCs: Evidence for Belgium based on Extended National  Supply-and-Use Tables Integrated into a Global Multiregional Input-Output Table by Bernhard Michel, Caroline Hambyue, Bart Hertveldt #25155 (ITI) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25155?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

14.  The Productivity J-Curve: How Intangibles Complement General Purpose Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Daniel Rock, Chad Syverson #25148 (EFG IO PR) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25148?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

15.  State Dependent Effects of Monetary Policy: the Refinancing Channel by Martin Eichenbaum, Sergio Rebelo, Arlene Wong #25152 (EFG) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25152?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

16.  Tax Equivalences and their Implications by Alan J. Auerbach #25158 (PE) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25158?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

17.  Banking on the Boom, Tripped by the Bust: Banks and the World War I Agricultural Price Shock by Matthew S. Jaremski, David C. Wheelock #25159 (DAE) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25159?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

18.  Behavioral Corporate Finance by Ulrike Malmendier #25162 (CF) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25162?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

19.  Expenditure Visibility and Consumer Behavior: New Evidence by Ori Heffetz #25161 (AG PE) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25161?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

20.  The Opportunity Atlas: Mapping the Childhood Roots of Social Mobility by Raj Chetty, John N. Friedman, Nathaniel Hendren, Maggie R. Jones, Sonya R. Porter #25147 (CH ED EFG LS PE) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25147?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

21.  Does High Cost-Sharing Slow the Long-term Growth Rate of Health Spending? Evidence from the States by Molly Frean, Mark Pauly #25156 (HE) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25156?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

22.  Grandparents, Moms, or Dads? Why Children of Teen Mothers Do Worse in Life by Anna Aizer, Paul J. Devereux, Kjell G. Salvanes #25165 (CH ED HE LS) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25165?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26

23.  The Salary Taboo: Privacy Norms and the Diffusion of Information by Zoe B. Cullen, Ricardo Perez-Truglia #25145 (LE LS PE POL) http://papers.nber.org/papers/w25145?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntwg26


Courtesy: NBER

Data Science for Undergraduates Opportunities and Options

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018.

Data science is emerging as a field that is revolutionizing science and industries alike. Work across nearly all domains is becoming more data driven, affecting both the jobs that are available and the skills that are required. As more data and ways of analyzing them become available, more aspects of the economy, society, and daily life will become dependent on data.

It is imperative that educators, administrators, and students begin today to consider how to best prepare for and keep pace with this data-driven era of tomorrow. Undergraduate teaching, in particular, offers a critical link in offering more data science exposure to students and expanding the supply of data science talent.

Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options offers a vision for the emerging discipline of data science at the undergraduate level. This report outlines some considerations and approaches for academic institutions and others in the broader data science communities to help guide the ongoing transformation of this field.

URL – https://www.nap.edu/catalog/25104/data-science-for-undergraduates-opportunities-and-options?utm_source=NASEM+News+and+Publications&utm_campaign=6e12d261ab-NAP_mail_new_2018_10_15&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_96101de015-6e12d261ab-102123193&goal=0_96101de015-6e12d261ab-102123193&mc_cid=6e12d261ab&mc_eid=3f52b269fc
Courtesy: National Academies Press.

The Crisis of Gulf Migration

S Irudaya Rajan.
The Oxford Handbook of Migration Crises. 2018.

The discovery of oil in Gulf countries significantly influenced international migration of workers to the Gulf region as these countries required human resources from other countries to work in oil industry. Due to the nonavailability of nationals, migrant workers, first from Arab-speaking countries and later from Asia, began to be employed.

These migrant workers brought change not only to the economy of the Gulf region but also in the age-sex composition of the region. Initially there were no plans to reduce or to stop immigrant workers because of the need for skilled and semiskilled workers for the development of the economy. The respective governments of Gulf countries started implementing nationalist policies to reduce or regulate migration due to high unemployment among nationals.

In addition, due to the large-scale presence of undocumented migrant workers or shadow labor forces, Gulf countries faced a crisis which they solved through amnesty schemes introduced from time to time. This chapter explains the role of migration in the Gulf and its implications for migration policy, undocumented workers, and resulting crises brought forth in the economy and society.

url – http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/abstract/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190856908.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780190856908-e-47?rskey=ZR3wuy&result=1
Courtesy – OUP

World Development Report 2019 : The Changing Nature of Work

The World Bank. 2018.

Work is constantly reshaped by technological progress. New ways of production are adopted, markets expand, and societies evolve. But some changes provoke more attention than others, in part due to the vast uncertainty involved in making predictions about the future. The 2019 World Development Report will study how the nature of work is changing as a result of advances in technology today.

Technological progress disrupts existing systems. A new social contract is needed to smooth the transition and guard against rising inequality. Significant investments in human capital throughout a person’s lifecycle are vital to this effort. If workers are to stay competitive against machines they need to train or retool existing skills. A social protection system that includes a minimum basic level of protection for workers and citizens can complement new forms of employment.

Improved private sector policies to encourage startup activity and competition can help countries compete in the digital age. Governments also need to ensure that firms pay their fair share of taxes, in part to fund this new social contract. The 2019 World Development Report presents an analysis of these issues based upon the available evidence.

url – https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/30435
courtesy – The World Bank

A Commentary on Consumption Rich Indians versus Rich (and Poor) Americans

Chandra Bhushan.

Centre for Science and Environment, 2018.


The growing consumption of the ‘rich’ in ‘poor’ countries has been a running theme in the climate change debate for some time now. A large majority of opinion makers in developed countries, especially the US, are convinced that rising consumption of the rich in the developing world is responsible for climate change.

In the last few years, the theme of the egregiously consuming middle class in India scorching the world has taken a whole new form. In this form, the excesses of the developed world are hidden. The problem, according to this narrative, is not the lifestyle of the North; rather,it is the burgeoning consumption of the South.

This paper is not meant to be a haranguing on the rich versus the poor. There is enough literature on that. This paper is also not meant to correlate consumption with environmental destruction. This field is over saturated. What this paper intends is to start a serious debate around sustainable consumption and production (SCP). To do this, it compares consumption and emissions of the rich in India with that of the rich in the US.

URL: https://www.cseindia.org/a-commentary-on-consumption-rich-indians-versus-rich-and-poor-americans-9019

Courtesy: CSE



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