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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Non-tasters of “bitter” and Geography Linked to Obesity and other Health GIS News

The bottom line from a Penn State nutrition study (that included GIS):

The combination of being less sensitive to a bitter-tasting compound and having limited access to healthy nutritious foods strongly influences a child's risk of being obese. 

Researchers determined food likes and dislikes and the ability to taste "bitter" (PROP) among 120 4-6 year olds in New York City.

To examine the children’s food environments, the researchers used specialized software, called Geographic Information Systems (GIS), to map the number of establishments that sold healthy foods (fruits and vegetables) and unhealthy foods (high calorie, low-nutrient foods and fast foods) within a one-half-mile and one-mile radius around the children’s homes. They then divided children into two groups based on whether they had more healthy or unhealthy food stores within walking distance around their homes.

The results showed that neither PROP status nor the food environment, when considered alone, explained differences in children’s reported liking of fruits or vegetables or obesity status. However, the interaction between PROP status and the food environment did significantly affect children’s liking of vegetables and their body weights.

- PSU Live

The first large U.S. medical institution to get dissected by Google Maps from the inside out will be Mayo Clinic.

Street View tryke photos have already been taken and next up is indoor maps.  Mark Henderson, 

"They have our maps, they walk through our hallways and — I don't know how it happens — but it all matches up," [Mark] Henderson [division chair of Workstation Support Services and Information Technology at Mayo] said. Room numbers match the Google-Map room numbers. Water fountains on the maps really show up where they are supposed to be.

- Post-Bulletin

Per a study in Addiction, the closer you live to a bar, the greater the chance you could become a heavy drinker.

The study, conducted by a team of researchers in Finland, looked at more than 54,000 adults living in that country from 2000 through 2009, and discovered those who lived closer to bars or pubs were more likely to increase the average amount of alcohol they consume on a regular basis.

The researchers used GPS coordinates to determine the distance from each subject’s home to the nearest drinking hole and discovered that for each kilometer (0.6 mile) closer a person lived to such a facility, the likelihood he or she would become a heavy drinker increased by 17%, according to Reuters Health reporter Amy Norton.

- Red Orbit

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/06 at 03:06 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

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