Lowered “time-price” of food to blame for rising obesity, says HSPH expert

first_img Read Full Story HSPH Professor Steven Gortmaker believes that there is a simple explanation for the globally skyrocketing rates of obesity in recent decades. It is now easy to obtain fast and cheap food at all hours of the day and night, giving eating a much lower “time-price” than in previous generations. People are exercising at about the same rate that they were 20 years ago, Gortmaker, professor of the practice of health sociology and director of the Harvard School of Public Health Prevention Research Center, told an HSPH audience on July 19, 2011, as part of the School’s Hot Topics series, but the food environment they face every day has changed.Constantly eating and drinking has become the norm, Gortmaker said. It is easier than ever to get cheap, high-calorie food and sugary beverages at all hours of the day and night, and kids are particularly vulnerable. Aggressively targeted by marketers of unhealthy foods and beverages, and surrounded by vending machines and fast food restaurants during the school day, unhealthy choices become their default.“We need to alter the environment where children spend their time so that it’s easy to make healthy diet and physical activity choices,” Gortmaker said. “You can’t just leave it to individual choice.” He said a good start would be to take unhealthy products out of vending machines at schools and make sure free water is available.last_img read more

ND’s Ph.D. ranks improve

first_imgThe National Research Council (NRC) recently ranked doctorate programs throughout the nation and evaluated Notre Dame’s programs more positively than it had in the past. Notre Dame’s doctorate programs were ranked higher than in NRC’s last evaluation in 1995, said Gregory Sterling, dean of the Graduate School. “If you ask me, are we where we would ultimately like to be? No,” Sterling said. “But we’re better than we were. There are some great stories to be told.” The NRC ranking addressed 5,000 programs at 212 universities. The data was based on the 2005-06 academic year, Sterling said. “It is the most extensive effort to collect data on doctorate programs to date,” Sterling said. The methodology behind the rankings is complex because each program was not simply numbered in rank. Rather, two ranking systems were used — the R-system, or regression-based ranking, and the S-system, or survey-based ranking. The R-system polled faculty on their opinions of doctorate programs and measured how well the programs performed against a set of 21 variables. This ranking is closely related to the reputation of a program, Sterling said. The S-system asked faculty to rank the 21 variables based on their importance. NRC then gave a weight to each variable and compared its importance to how the program actually performed on the variable, he said. For both the S-system and the R-system, doctorate programs were ranked, not in a numeric order, but on a continuum based on the highest rank a program received and the lowest rank it received. “Since the NRC refused to give an absolute ranking, the real value is in the data they provided,” Sterling said. “It allows us for the first time to compare our programs to other programs using specific data.” Compared to the 1995 ranking, Sterling said Notre Dame did extremely well. “In 1995, we only had two programs in the upper quartile,” Sterling said. “This time, using the highest ranking we had 11 programs in the upper quartile for the R-rank and nine for the S-rank. If you use the lower ranking, we had three for the R-rank and four for the S-rank.” The humanities did especially well, Sterling said. English, history, philosophy and theology were ranked in the upper quartile for both R and S. In the science department, mathematics and biology were also both ranked in the upper quartile for R and S, said Sterling. Chemical engineering was in the upper quartile for R and the second quartile for S. Civil engineering was in the upper quartile for both R and S, Sterling said. Sterling said the study is already being used by phd.org, a website that many prospective doctorate students will use to help them determine where to attend. “I think, on the whole, the numbers will help us,” said Sterling. “Although we do have some programs where I think that the way things were set up will not reflect some of our strengths.” One such department is the social sciences. Notre Dame faculty in political science and sociology publish books much more extensively than their peers, Sterling said. But in NRC’s evaluation, only articles were counted when determining how many faculty publications a program had, and the programs’ ratings suffered as a result, he said. Another factor is that the program measured data from 2005-06 and some programs have advanced markedly over the last few years. For example, the psychology department has hired a significant number of new faculty, Sterling said. Nevertheless, he said the evaluation report is valuable. “It is the most data-driven assessment of Ph.D. programs ever completed,” Sterling said. “It will be challenged, but it will prove useful in terms of providing comparative information.” Sterling said the University should be happy with how its doctorate programs were ranked, but not satisfied. “I would say on the whole we should feel good about the results,” he said, “but understand that we still have a challenge in front of us.”last_img read more

Live alone or die together? How should bookmakers offer esports?

first_imgSuraj Gosai, BlinkpoolKey decision makers across the esports and gambling industries will discuss and debate the differing methods deployed by bookmakers to effectively target the coveted esports demographic in London next week. The “Live Alone or Die Together?” bookmakers’ panel will be one of six exceptional panels over September 13-14th at Betting on Esports at Olympia, London.The expert panel will discuss the various approaches taken by different companies at the intersection of esports and gambling, with the virtues and pitfalls of each.CEO of Unikrn Rahul Sood; Head of Esports at Danske Spil Kasper Nemeth; CMO of PVP.me Michael Doyle and CEO and Co-Founder of Blinkpool Suraj Gosai will share their experiences from differing perspectives as the wonderful world of esports betting continues its growth. Sanjit Atwal, Co-Founder of Dark Site and Squawka will chair the panel. The panel presents a snapshot of the current state of the esports gambling industry, with a mixture of approaches taken across the industry.There are very few bookmakers now who don’t include esports in some capacity. There’s the no-fuss integrated sportsbook approach exhibited by many operators, separate portals within a traditional operator setup and we’ve seen the emergence of esports dedicated bookmakers. Industry leaders will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the aforementioned and shed some light on what they believe is optimal, both now and in the future.Rahul Sood of Unikrn noted: “There are a ton of things happening in the esports betting space right now.  In addition to the incredible growth, cryptocurrencies are a new area that betting operators should take a look at.  Unikrn is at the cutting edge of both areas and I’d like to share some of my insights in this area.”Blinkpool’s Suraj Gosai commented: “Esports is divisive within the betting industry, with a number of operators taking very different approaches to the vertical.“Esports are the first spectator activity (dare I say sport!), drawing in monstrous online audiences, that has been created in the internet age; this is a unique situation for the online betting industry. I’m looking forward to discussing the differences and similarities of the audience, and the opportunities this present to established and new companies within the space.”With Betting on Esports proudly boasting six panels across two days at SBC’s Betting on Sports Conference, firms and prospective attendees are encouraged to sign up now or risk missing out on the best betting conference esports has witnessed.There’ll also be a FIFA tournament and networking parties each evening, in addition to the numerous panels over three tracks, for all attendees to enjoy. Tickets include access to the full Betting on Sports 2017 conference, with over 1,000 delegates, 190 speakers, 60 exhibitors and more confirmed! – BOOK HERETo read more about the event, download the agenda and see the whole list of speakers and attendees, visit the Betting on Esports website HERE.last_img read more