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Concept: Health education


Social interactions increasingly take place online. Friendships and other offline social ties have been repeatedly associated with human longevity, but online interactions might have different properties. Here, we reference 12 million social media profiles against California Department of Public Health vital records and use longitudinal statistical models to assess whether social media use is associated with longer life. The results show that receiving requests to connect as friends online is associated with reduced mortality but initiating friendships is not. Additionally, online behaviors that indicate face-to-face social activity (like posting photos) are associated with reduced mortality, but online-only behaviors (like sending messages) have a nonlinear relationship, where moderate use is associated with the lowest mortality. These results suggest that online social integration is linked to lower risk for a wide variety of critical health problems. Although this is an associational study, it may be an important step in understanding how, on a global scale, online social networks might be adapted to improve modern populations' social and physical health.

Concepts: Health care, Public health, Health, Epidemiology, Sociology, Population health, Health education, Social network aggregation


Health literacy has become an increasingly important concept in public health. We sought to develop a comprehensive measure of health literacy capable of diagnosing health literacy needs across individuals and organisations by utilizing perspectives from the general population, patients, practitioners and policymakers.

Concepts: Health, Health literacy, Health education


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) represent a significant threat to human health and well-being, and carry significant implications for economic development and health care and other costs for governments and business, families and individuals. Risks for many of the major NCDs are associated with the production, marketing and consumption of commercially produced food and drink, particularly those containing sugar, salt and transfats (in ultra-processed products), alcohol and tobacco. The problems inherent in primary prevention of NCDs have received relatively little attention from international organizations, national governments and civil society, especially when compared to the attention paid to secondary and tertiary prevention regimes (i.e. those focused on provision of medical treatment and long-term clinical management). This may in part reflect that until recently the NCDs have not been deemed a priority on the overall global health agenda. Low political priority may also be due in part to the complexity inherent in implementing feasible and acceptable interventions, such as increased taxation or regulation of access, particularly given the need to coordinate action beyond the health sector. More fundamentally, governing determinants of risk frequently brings public health into conflict with the interests of profit-driven food, beverage, alcohol and tobacco industries.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Public health, Health, Epidemiology, Nutrition, Population health, Health education


Health literacy skills tend to decline during ageing, which is often attributed to age-related cognitive decline. Whether health literacy skills may be influenced by technological and social factors during ageing is unknown.

Concepts: Cohort study, Epidemiology, Cognition, Health literacy, Health education, Internet, Literacy, Information literacy


The objective was to develop a comprehensive questionnaire for measuring the patient-perceived comprehensibility of health education programs (COHEP questionnaire). According to a conceptual model outlined in the article, comprehensibility is considered a context factor of patient health literacy.

Concepts: Health care provider, Medicine, Health, Medical terms, Illness, Educational psychology, Health literacy, Health education


What can be done to reduce unhealthy eating among adolescents? It was hypothesized that aligning healthy eating with important and widely shared adolescent values would produce the needed motivation. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled experiment with eighth graders (total n = 536) evaluated the impact of a treatment that framed healthy eating as consistent with the adolescent values of autonomy from adult control and the pursuit of social justice. Healthy eating was suggested as a way to take a stand against manipulative and unfair practices of the food industry, such as engineering junk food to make it addictive and marketing it to young children. Compared with traditional health education materials or to a non-food-related control, this treatment led eighth graders to see healthy eating as more autonomy-assertive and social justice-oriented behavior and to forgo sugary snacks and drinks in favor of healthier options a day later in an unrelated context. Public health interventions for adolescents may be more effective when they harness the motivational power of that group’s existing strongly held values.

Concepts: Health care, Public health, Health, Nutrition, Health education


: Local health departments (LHDs) and state health agencies (SHAs) require quantitative data to fulfill their obligation to ensure public health. However, data collection and sharing are not straightforward processes in the US public health system. Responsibilities are divided among many actors, jurisdictions overlap, events that can occur elsewhere, and not every public health agency possesses information systems capable of sharing data. Collectively, these characteristics define a system that likely has gaps in data sharing among public health entities.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Universal health care, Public health, Health, Epidemiology, Population health, Health education


The health literacy skills required by individuals to interact effectively with health services depends on the complexity of those services, and the demands they place on people. Public health and social service organisations have a responsibility to provide services and information in ways that promote equitable access and engagement, that are responsive to diverse needs and preferences, and support people to participate in decisions regarding their health and wellbeing. The aim of this study was to develop a conceptual framework describing the characteristics of health literacy responsive organisations.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Public health, Health, Sociology, Health literacy, Health education, Human Development Index


Physical inactivity is a growing public health concern. Use of mobile applications (apps) may be a powerful tool to encourage physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. For instance, apps may be used in the preparation of a running event. However, there is little evidence for the relationship between app use and change in physical activity and health in recreational runners. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the use of apps and changes in physical activity, health and lifestyle behaviour, and self-image of short and long distance runners.

Concepts: Health care, Public health, Health, Epidemiology, Weight loss, Population health, Personal life, Health education


Most US adults have limited health literacy skills. They struggle to understand complex health information and services and to make informed health decisions. The Internet has quickly become one of the most popular places for people to search for information about their health, thereby making access to quality information on the Web a priority. However, there are no standardized criteria for evaluating Web-based health information. Every 10 years, the US Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) develops a set of measurable objectives for improving the health of the nation over the coming decade, known as Healthy People. There are two objectives in Healthy People 2020 related to website quality. The first is objective Health Communication and Health Information Technology (HC/HIT) 8.1: increase the proportion of health-related websites that meet 3 or more evaluation criteria for disclosing information that can be used to assess information reliability. The second is objective HC/HIT-8.2: increase the proportion of health-related websites that follow established usability principles.

Concepts: Health care, Public health, Health, Epidemiology, Evaluation, Health literacy, World Wide Web, Health education