AJPH June 2019 Highlights

Date: Jun 20 2019

CONTACT: Megan Lowry, 202-777-3913

AJPH publishes research on marijuana use increases, nutrition labeling, barbershop HIV intervention and more

American Journal of Public Health August 2019 issue research highlights:

High school students increased marijuana use, decreased tobacco and alcohol use 1991-2017

From 1991 to 2017, the prevalence of marijuana-only use among U.S. high school students increased from 0.6% to 6.3%, while the prevalence of use of alcohol only or cigarettes only significantly declined. Dual use of alcohol and marijuana increased from 3.6% to 7.6%, while dual use of alcohol and cigarettes declined from 11.8% to 1.7%. The prevalence of poly use of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana declined from 9.4% to 4.4%. 

Researchers also measured an enlarged disparity in use of marijuana only by race/ethnicity. Use of marijuana increased 11.5% among non-Hispanic blacks and increased 8.1% among Hispanics, compared with an increase of 3.4% among non-Hispanic whites. Authors concluded the use patterns of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana among youths have changed with a surge in use of marijuana only, especially among racial/ethnic minorities.

[Author Contact: Hongying Dai, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraksa. “Trends in Single, Dual, and Poly Use of Alcohol, Cigarettes, and Marijuana Among US High-School Students: 1991–2017”].

Nutri-Score labeling leads to more nutritious grocery purchases

Researchers compared the overall nutritional quality of students’ food purchases when food items were labeled with the Nutri-Score label, the Reference Intakes label or no label at all in this randomized controlled trial. The Nutri-Score is a graded and color-coded label that indicates whether a food product is relatively healthy in terms of nutritional quality (depicted as A and dark green) or less healthy (E and dark orange). The Reference Intakes label is a nutrient-specific front-of-pack nutrition label.

The study showed the Nutri-Score label appeared to improve the nutritional composition of students’ food purchases relative to the Reference Intakes label or no label. Shopping cart content was lower in calories and saturated fatty acids and higher in fruits and vegetables in the Nutri-Score arm of study participants than in the other arms.

[Author Contact: Manon Egnell, EREN, U1153 Inserm, U1125 Inra, SMBH Paris 13, Bobigny Cedex. “Front-of-Pack Labeling and the Nutritional Quality of Students’ Food Purchases: A 3-Arm Randomized Controlled Trial”].

Barbershop HIV intervention reduces sexual risk behaviors

Barbershops in Brooklyn, New York, neighborhoods with high rates of heterosexually transmitted HIV were randomized to either an intervention or control program. Men were recruited from barbershops between 2012 and 2016 and participated in a single small group, peer-led session focused on HIV risk reduction skills and motivation, community health empowerment, and identification of personal strengths and communication skills. The outcome was defined as one or more acts of condomless anal or vaginal sex in the preceding 90 days at a 6-month interview.

Researchers found 64.4% of men included in the intervention exposure reported no condomless sex in the preceding 90 days six months after the intervention, compared with 54.1% of men included in the control group. Researchers concluded program exposure resulted in reduced sexual risk behaviors.

[Author Contact: Aleksandra Jakubowski, Primary Care and Population Health, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California. “Impact of Health Aid Investments on Public Opinion of the United States: Analysis of Global Attitude Surveys From 45 Countries, 2002–2016”].

Find a full list of AJPH papers published online below:

  • Trends in single, dual, and poly use of alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana among U.S. high school students: 1991-2017
  • Interventions to reduce ageism against older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis
  • Local public health policy makers’ views on state preemption: Results of a national survey (2018)
  • Aging well around the world
  • The U.S. census & the people’s health: Public health engagement from enslavement and “indians not taxed” to census tracts and health equity (1790-2018)
  • Using census data to understand county-level differences in overall drug mortality and opioid-related mortality by opioid type
  • Required sexual orientation and gender identity reporting by U.S. health centers: first-year data
  • Implementation of a rooftop farm integrated with a teaching kitchen and preventive food pantry in a hospital setting
  • Potential impact of 2020 U.S. decennial census data collection on disaster preparedness and population mental health consequences of disasters
  • Is the WHO definition of health aging well? Frameworks for health after three score and ten
  • Front-of-pack labelling and students food purchases’ nutritional quality: a 3-arm randomized controlled trial
  • Barbershop talk with brothers: a cluster randomized trial of a strengths-focused HIV prevention program for black heterosexual men

The articles above will be published online June 20, 2019, at 4 p.m. ET by AJPH under “First Look.” “First Look” articles have undergone peer review, copyediting and approval by authors but have not yet been printed to paper or posted online by issue. AJPH is published by the American Public Health Association, and is available at www.ajph.org.

Complimentary online access to the Journal is available to credentialed members of the media. Address inquiries to Megan Lowry at APHA, 202-777-3913, or email her. A single print issue of the Journal is available for $35 from the Journal’s Subscriptions Department. If you are not a member of the press, a member of APHA or a subscriber, online single-issue access is $30, and online single-article access is $22 at www.ajph.org. For direct customer service, call 202-777-2516, or email us.

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The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.