166 research outputs found

    East Asia's dynamic development model and the Republic of Korea's experiences

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    No region has been more dynamic in recent years than East Asia. Despite its successful economic development, evaluations of the East Asian development model have often been capricious, shifting from"miracle"to"cronyism."How can we explain East Asia's ups and downs consistently? To respond to this challenge, it is necessary to study the progress of East Asian development and to trace the influence of Asian cultural values. This study mainly focuses on cultural aspects of economic progress and analyzes East Asia's philosophical and historical backgrounds to explain the dynamic process. East Asians believe that balance between opposite but complementary forces, Yin and Yang, will ensure social stability and progress. Through repeated rebalancing to maintain harmony, the society comes to maturity. In traditional East Asian societies, a balance was maintained between Confucianism (Yang) and Taoism, Buddhism, and other philosophies (Yin). In modern societies, the challenge is to balance traditional systems (Yang) and Western style capitalism (Yin). This East Asian development model explains the Republic of Korea's rise, fall, and recovery. Korea was a poor country until the early 1960s, during the time when spiritualism (Yang) dominated. From the 1960s through the 1980s, Korea achieved rapid growth by finding a new balance and moving toward materialism (Yin) from spiritualism (Yang). But the failure to maintain a harmonious balance between cooperative systems and collectivism (Yang) and individualism (Yin) led to major weaknesses in labor and financial markets that contributed significantly to the financial crisis in 1997. As Korea arrived at a new balance by instituting reform programs, the venture-oriented information and communication technology (ICT) industry blossomed and led to a rapid economic recovery. Since 2000, domestic financial scandals and political corruption have emerged as new social issues. Korea's next challenge is to find a new harmonization between morality (Yang) and legal frameworks (Yin).Environmental Economics&Policies,Public Health Promotion,Ethics&Belief Systems,Earth Sciences&GIS,Decentralization,Earth Sciences&GIS,Ethics&Belief Systems,Economic Theory&Research,Environmental Economics&Policies,Health Economics&Finance

    Nutrition policy: developing scientific recommendations for food-based dietary guidelines for older adults living independently in Ireland

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    Older adults (≄65 years) are the fastest growing population group. Thus, ensuring nutritional well-being of the ‘over-65s’ to optimise health is critically important. Older adults represent a diverse population – some are fit and healthy, others are frail and many live with chronic conditions. Up to 78% of older Irish adults living independently are overweight or obese. The present paper describes how these issues were accommodated into the development of food-based dietary guidelines for older adults living independently in Ireland. Food-based dietary guidelines previously established for the general adult population served as the basis for developing more specific recommendations appropriate for older adults. Published international reports were used to update nutrient intake goals for older adults, and available Irish data on dietary intakes and nutritional status biomarkers were explored from a population-based study (the National Adult Nutrition Survey; NANS) and two longitudinal cohorts: the Trinity-Ulster and Department of Agriculture (TUDA) and the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) studies. Nutrients of public health concern were identified for further examination. While most nutrient intake goals were similar to those for the general adult population, other aspects were identified where nutritional concerns of ageing require more specific food-based dietary guidelines. These include, a more protein-dense diet using high-quality protein foods to preserve muscle mass; weight maintenance in overweight or obese older adults with no health issues and, where weight-loss is required, that lean tissue is preserved; the promotion of fortified foods, particularly as a bioavailable source of B vitamins and the need for vitamin D supplementation

    Effects of maternal folic acid supplementation during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy on neurocognitive development in the child:an 11-year follow-up from a randomised controlled trial

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    Background: Maternal folic acid (FA) supplementation before and in early pregnancy prevents neural tube defects (NTD), but it is uncertain whether continuing FA after the first trimester has benefits on offspring health. We aimed to evaluate the effect of FA supplementation throughout pregnancy on cognitive performance and brain function in the child. Methods: Follow-up investigation of 11-year-old children, residing in Northern Ireland, whose mothers had participated in a randomised trial of Folic Acid Supplementation in the Second and Third Trimesters (FASSTT) in pregnancy and received 400 ÎŒg/day FA or placebo from the 14th gestational week. Cognitive performance (Full Scale Intelligence Quotient, Verbal Comprehension, Working Memory, Perceptual Reasoning, and Processing Speed) was assessed using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. Neuronal function was assessed using magnetoencephalographic (MEG) brain imaging. Results: Of 119 mother-child pairs in the FASSTT trial, 68 children were assessed for neurocognitive performance at 11-year follow-up (Dec 2017 to Nov 2018). Children of mothers randomised to FA compared with placebo scored significantly higher in two Processing Speed tests, i.e. symbol search (mean difference 2.9 points, 95% CI 0.3 to 5.5, p = 0.03) and cancellation (11.3 points, 2.5 to 20.1, p = 0.04), whereas the positive effect on Verbal Comprehension was significant in girls only (6.5 points, 1.2 to 11.8, p = 0.03). MEG assessment of neuronal responses to a language task showed increased power at the Beta (13–30 Hz, p = 0.01) and High Gamma (49–70 Hz, p = 0.04) bands in children from FA-supplemented mothers, suggesting more efficient semantic processing of language. Conclusions: Continued FA supplementation in pregnancy beyond the early period currently recommended to prevent NTD can benefit neurocognitive development of the child. MEG provides a non-invasive tool in paediatric research to objectively assess functional brain activity in response to nutrition and other interventions. Trial registration: ISRCTN ISRCTN19917787. Registered on 15 May 2013

    Contributions of mean and shape of blood pressure distribution to worldwide trends and variations in raised blood pressure: A pooled analysis of 1018 population-based measurement studies with 88.6 million participants

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    © The Author(s) 2018. Background: Change in the prevalence of raised blood pressure could be due to both shifts in the entire distribution of blood pressure (representing the combined effects of public health interventions and secular trends) and changes in its high-blood-pressure tail (representing successful clinical interventions to control blood pressure in the hypertensive population). Our aim was to quantify the contributions of these two phenomena to the worldwide trends in the prevalence of raised blood pressure. Methods: We pooled 1018 population-based studies with blood pressure measurements on 88.6 million participants from 1985 to 2016. We first calculated mean systolic blood pressure (SBP), mean diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and prevalence of raised blood pressure by sex and 10-year age group from 20-29 years to 70-79 years in each study, taking into account complex survey design and survey sample weights, where relevant. We used a linear mixed effect model to quantify the association between (probittransformed) prevalence of raised blood pressure and age-group- and sex-specific mean blood pressure. We calculated the contributions of change in mean SBP and DBP, and of change in the prevalence-mean association, to the change in prevalence of raised blood pressure. Results: In 2005-16, at the same level of population mean SBP and DBP, men and women in South Asia and in Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa would have the highest prevalence of raised blood pressure, and men and women in the highincome Asia Pacific and high-income Western regions would have the lowest. In most region-sex-age groups where the prevalence of raised blood pressure declined, one half or more of the decline was due to the decline in mean blood pressure. Where prevalence of raised blood pressure has increased, the change was entirely driven by increasing mean blood pressure, offset partly by the change in the prevalence-mean association. Conclusions: Change in mean blood pressure is the main driver of the worldwide change in the prevalence of raised blood pressure, but change in the high-blood-pressure tail of the distribution has also contributed to the change in prevalence, especially in older age groups

    Height and body-mass index trajectories of school-aged children and adolescents from 1985 to 2019 in 200 countries and territories: a pooled analysis of 2181 population-based studies with 65 million participants

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    Summary Background Comparable global data on health and nutrition of school-aged children and adolescents are scarce. We aimed to estimate age trajectories and time trends in mean height and mean body-mass index (BMI), which measures weight gain beyond what is expected from height gain, for school-aged children and adolescents. Methods For this pooled analysis, we used a database of cardiometabolic risk factors collated by the Non-Communicable Disease Risk Factor Collaboration. We applied a Bayesian hierarchical model to estimate trends from 1985 to 2019 in mean height and mean BMI in 1-year age groups for ages 5–19 years. The model allowed for non-linear changes over time in mean height and mean BMI and for non-linear changes with age of children and adolescents, including periods of rapid growth during adolescence. Findings We pooled data from 2181 population-based studies, with measurements of height and weight in 65 million participants in 200 countries and territories. In 2019, we estimated a difference of 20 cm or higher in mean height of 19-year-old adolescents between countries with the tallest populations (the Netherlands, Montenegro, Estonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina for boys; and the Netherlands, Montenegro, Denmark, and Iceland for girls) and those with the shortest populations (Timor-Leste, Laos, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea for boys; and Guatemala, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Timor-Leste for girls). In the same year, the difference between the highest mean BMI (in Pacific island countries, Kuwait, Bahrain, The Bahamas, Chile, the USA, and New Zealand for both boys and girls and in South Africa for girls) and lowest mean BMI (in India, Bangladesh, Timor-Leste, Ethiopia, and Chad for boys and girls; and in Japan and Romania for girls) was approximately 9–10 kg/m2. In some countries, children aged 5 years started with healthier height or BMI than the global median and, in some cases, as healthy as the best performing countries, but they became progressively less healthy compared with their comparators as they grew older by not growing as tall (eg, boys in Austria and Barbados, and girls in Belgium and Puerto Rico) or gaining too much weight for their height (eg, girls and boys in Kuwait, Bahrain, Fiji, Jamaica, and Mexico; and girls in South Africa and New Zealand). In other countries, growing children overtook the height of their comparators (eg, Latvia, Czech Republic, Morocco, and Iran) or curbed their weight gain (eg, Italy, France, and Croatia) in late childhood and adolescence. When changes in both height and BMI were considered, girls in South Korea, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and some central Asian countries (eg, Armenia and Azerbaijan), and boys in central and western Europe (eg, Portugal, Denmark, Poland, and Montenegro) had the healthiest changes in anthropometric status over the past 3·5 decades because, compared with children and adolescents in other countries, they had a much larger gain in height than they did in BMI. The unhealthiest changes—gaining too little height, too much weight for their height compared with children in other countries, or both—occurred in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, New Zealand, and the USA for boys and girls; in Malaysia and some Pacific island nations for boys; and in Mexico for girls. Interpretation The height and BMI trajectories over age and time of school-aged children and adolescents are highly variable across countries, which indicates heterogeneous nutritional quality and lifelong health advantages and risks
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