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The prevalence of overweight/obesity is increasing worldwide. Although countries like India are typically thought of as having a high prevalence of undernutrition, significant proportions of overweight/obese now co-exist with the undernourished. This study aims to find the prevalence of overweight/obesity, and its association with socioeconomic change, among Tangkhul women in India. The cross-sectional study was carried out among 346 Tangkhul women aged 20–70 years, who were divided into five 10-year age groups. Mean BMI was found to be lowest among the youngest age group, and it increased with age until the age of 59 and then declined. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was found to be 27.1%, as assessed from the Asian cut-off point. Although the prevalence of obesity (2.0%) was low when compared with Indian non-tribal female populations, the prevalence of overweight (25.1%) was not far behind. Overweight and obesity were found to be associated with age, marital status, physical activity level, lifestyle and improvement in socioeconomic status, especially occupation and income. When compared with urban non-tribal Indian females, who have a higher socioeconomic status, the prevalence of overweight/obesity among Tangkhul females is lower, indicating its association with socioeconomic status. Tangkhul Naga is a population where the majority are believed to be thin traditionally owing to the difficult hilly terrain and their physically active lifestyle. With urbanization and economic development, nutritional transition, improved socioeconomic status and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle have been observed, which have contributed to the increasing prevalence of overweight/obesity among Tangkhul Naga women.
Most analyses of the contraceptive decision-making in which couples engage are based on the reports of only one partner, usually the female partner. This study uses information from the 2006 National Couples Survey conducted in the US, which was obtained from both partners in intimate heterosexual relationships to investigate the relative impact of the male and female partner's method preferences on the type of method they use together. It also investigates the extent to which differences in power between the partners, measured on multiple dimensions, may weigh the decision-making process toward one partner or the other. The results suggest that men's and women's method preferences are both significantly related to the couples' method choice. Further, there is no evidence of a significant gender difference in the magnitude of these relationships, although women in married and cohabiting relationships appear to have greater power over method choice than women in dating relationships. The analysis also finds that structural power as measured by relative education and income affects partner differences in the relationship between preferences and method choice, but is more important for married and cohabiting couples than for dating couples. In contrast, relationship-based power sources, including relative commitment and relative relationship alternatives, have significant effects only for dating couples.
A caretaker training programme was carried out in Ugwuogo-Nike, a rural area in south-east Nigeria, based on formative research within the community. A training of trainers workshop was organized for 30 leaders of women groups who subsequently trained other mothers in their group. Community information activities, which lasted for a period of eight months, included the use of posters, drama group and jingles. The programme was evaluated using the quantitative and qualitative methods that were employed at baseline, which included community survey and focus group discussions (FGDs). For the community survey, households with children under five years of age were identified and provided the sampling frame, from which 300 households were chosen using the systematic sampling method. The target population for the FGDs were caretakers of children under five years. Post-intervention evaluation of the programme showed significant (p<0.05) improvements in knowledge, home management of malaria and referral practices for severe malaria. Those who correctly reported that mosquitoes were the cause of malaria rose markedly from 39.7% to 88.7%. Knowledge of symptoms of mild and severe malaria also increased significantly. Only 1.5% of caretakers were aware of the correct dose of anti-malarial before intervention, but this increased to 41.5%. The impact of intervention brought about a dramatic change in the practice of taking severely ill children, especially those with convulsion, to a traditional healer. A minority (6.7%) of caretakers took a severely ill child to a traditional healer as against 60% pre-intervention. There was also a significant increase in use of formal health facilities for the treatment of severely ill children. The study findings support the view that training of mothers to recognize, treat appropriately and refer severe cases of malaria is feasible and may lead to a reduction in the incidence of severe disease.
Scaling-up of skilled attendants and facility-based services is necessary for improving maternal and child care in developing countries but their effectiveness is crucially influenced by the uptake of such services. This study set out to establish the pattern and uptake of maternity services and associated factors against the backdrop of rapid urbanization in Nigeria. A cross-sectional study of socio-demographic and obstetric characteristics of mothers attending the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) immunization clinics in inner-city Lagos was conducted from July 2005 to December 2007, and their association with non-hospital delivery and use of unskilled attendants was determined by multiple logistic regression analyses. Of the 6465 participants, over half (51.4%) delivered outside hospital facilities and 81.8% of this group had no skilled attendants at delivery. Non-hospital delivery or the presence of unskilled attendants at delivery was associated with teenage mothers, Muslim religion, low or middle social class and use of herbal drugs in pregnancy. Additionally, non-hospital delivery was associated with ethnicity (Yoruba tribe), lack of tertiary education or full-time employment, accommodation with shared sanitation facilities and multiparity. The results suggest that availability of and access/proximity to hospital facilities or skilled attendants is no guarantee of uptake of maternity services. Efforts aimed at improving maternal and child health in developing countries should take cognisance of the socio-demographic and cultural underpinnings of maternal health-seeking behaviour of urban mothers beyond the provision of facility-based services or strengthening of the existing health care systems.
Reducing China's population has formerly been considered a good thing because of the perceived environmental and social risks of overpopulation, but it has recently become apparent that the resulting population decline may create problems that will become increasingly serious in the future. The results of a survey of 4600 women in nineteen Chinese provinces in 2005 indicated that young age, high income, high education level, urban location and good employment all decreased a woman's willingness to bear children. The risks created by declining fertility in these groups have been intensified by China's ‘one child’ family planning policy. However, as a result of current trends and China's policies, the country's population will continue to age, leading to social problems and difficulties for sustainable development both in China and around the world. Therefore, China's policy-makers must begin planning to adjust their policy by encouraging women to give birth to more than one child.
Excess weight is becoming widespread in Spain due to changes in nutritional habits and lifestyles. Previous studies on this issue have focused on specific Spanish regions, subpopulations or relatively short time spans. This study analysed sex, age and cohort trends in the prevalence of adult overweight and obesity over the last two decades by applying a demographic methodology. Data came from the Spanish National Health Surveys that were held between 1987 and 2006. The respondent's demographic characteristics and self-reported height and weight were aggregated to a single dataset in order to analyse changes in weight and BMI by age and sex, over time and within and between quasi birth-cohorts. After correcting for sample bias and coding errors a total sample of about 100,000 subjects aged 20–79 was obtained. The results show that between 1987 and 2006 adult males and females increased their average weight by 8.2% and 2.8%, respectively. While among younger adults this is partly explained by height increases, prevalence in excess weight increased among 50- to 79-year-old males. Persons of the same 10-year age group but of a more recent 10-year quasi birth-cohort had a BMI that was 0.2–0.8 points higher. BMI increases were lower for women and mainly affected 60–79 year olds. In fact, even decreases were observed for 40- to 49 and 50- to 59-year-old women. Potential explanatory factors are discussed.
People living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHAs) often face stigma and discrimination, especially in developing countries. HIV-related stigma is expressed through social ostracism, personal rejection, direct and indirect discrimination, and denial from families and friends. Consequently, it is associated with reduced adoption of preventive and care behaviours, including condom use, seeking for HIV test and care-seeking behaviour subsequent to diagnosis. Ignorance about the epidemiology of the disease on modes of transmission and prevention aggravates HIV-related stigma in Nigeria. Behaviour change communication activities through mass media have been shown to be an effective approach in improving people's knowledge about the disease. This paper monitors trends in the level of accepting attitudes towards PLWHAs in Nigeria between 2003 and 2007. It also evaluates the impact of exposure to mass media and social support on the levels of accepting attitudes towards PLWHAs. A significant and positive trend was evident between 2003 and 2007 (p<0.0001). Furthermore, exposure to mass media communications on HIV and AIDS issues and social support were significantly related to the reduced stigma and discrimination against PLWHAs (p<0.0001).
This study investigated gender difference in the effects of social support, including emotional support and instrumental support (such as help when sick and financial assistance), and social activities on perceived health of middle-aged and older adults in South Korea. Data were acquired from 3771 men and 4954 women aged 40 years and older who participated in the 2005 cross-sectional survey of the Seoul Citizens Health and Social Indicators Survey. Using multiple regression analysis, both age- and gender-specific differences related to social support and engagement in social activities and self-rated poor health were examined. Poor emotional support from close friends, relatives or someone with whom one could talk about worries was strongly associated with poor self-rated health in men, with the greatest effect in older men. Lack of engagement in social activities was associated with self-rated poor health in older adults, especially in older men. Poor instrumental support was associated with perceived poor health only in middle-aged women. As a health improvement strategy for men aged 65 years and older especially, emotional support should be considered. Measures should be considered for encouraging social activities by older adults, particularly older men.
This study uses micro-level information on the live births registered in Greece for 2006 to assess differentials in the propensity to have a male offspring between natives and immigrants. The sex ratio at birth for the whole population is 106.3 but it is considerably higher among immigrants (110.9) than among natives (105.4). Relatively high sex ratios at birth are observed for several migrant groups; differentials between natives, on the one hand, and Albanians (109.5) and Asians (129.0), on the other, are significant. The high sex ratio at birth for Albanians seems typical of that population. For Asians, the result is consistent with international findings though it may also be partly related to the small number of observations.