The Power of Positive Deviance

Positive deviance

Positive deviance is the observation that in most settings a few at risk individuals follow uncommon, beneficial practices and consequently experience better outcomes than their neighbours who share similar risks.14

 

Positive deviant behaviour is an uncommon practice that confers advantage to the people who practise it compared with the rest of the community. Such behaviours are likely to be affordable, acceptable, and sustainable because they are already practised by at risk people, they do not conflict with local culture, and they work.15 For example, in Egypt, contrary to custom, parents of poor but well nourished children were found to feed their children a diet that included eggs, beans, and green vegetables. Child nutrition programmes that provided opportunities to parents of malnourished children to follow this and other new behaviours, such as hand washing and hygienic food preparation, improved child growth.

Summary points

Even in the poorest communities, a few individuals or families achieve good health

Positive deviance is a quick, low cost method to identify the strategies used by these people and encourage the rest of the community to adopt them

The approach has been used successfully, mainly to improve child health

The potential for the approach to help communities to gain better health or other social benefits is vast and largely untapped

 

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7475.1177 (Published 11 November 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1177

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Growing Up Surrounded by Books Could Have Powerful, Lasting Effect on the Mind

The study, published recently in Social Science Research, assessed data from 160,000 adults from 31 countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Turkey, Japan and Chile. Participants filled out surveys with the Programme for the International Assessment of Competencies, which measures proficiency in three categories: literacy, numeracy (using mathematical concepts in everyday life) and information communication technology, (using digital technology to communicate with other people, and to gather and analyze information).

Respondents, who ranged in age from 25 to 65, were asked to estimate how many books were in their house when they were 16 years old. The research team was interested in this question because home library size can be a good indicator of what the study authors term “book-oriented socialization.” Participants were able to select from a given range of books that included everything from “10 or less” to “more than 500.”

The effects were most marked when it came to literacy. Growing up with few books in the home resulted in below average literacy levels. Being surrounded by 80 books boosted the levels to average, and literacy continued to improve until libraries reached about 350 books, at which point the literacy rates leveled off. The researchers observed similar trends when it came to numeracy; the effects were not as pronounced with information communication technology tests, but skills did improve with increased numbers of books.

Interesting research findings.  Read the source article here.

Only two percent of teens read newspaper, one-third have not read book for pleasure in last year.  We. Are. Doomed.

The Myth of Super Foods

The successful selling of superfoods to the wealthy is creating an impression that premium foods and superfoods equal good health and that they are a necessary part of any effort to improve the healthiness of a diet.

Everything in the produce aisle is a superfood, the rest is just window dressing. We need to start there and insure everyone has access to these, the basics of a healthful diet.

A most interesting perspective on super faddish super foods.  The full article is worth reading and can be found here.

Yikes.

Only two percent of teens read newspaper, one-third have not read book for pleasure in last year

“Think about how difficult it must be to read even five pages of an 800-page college textbook when you’ve been used to spending most of your time switching between one digital activity and another in a matter of seconds,” she added. “It really highlights the challenges students and faculty both face in the current era.”

My source article

My random thoughts:

  • ADHD
  • Bad parenting
  • Technology addiction
  • Social media is not social
  • Social media is evil
  • The slow agonizing death of newspapers
  • Colleges and universities will be challenged
  • Put the cellphone down and keep your hands where I can see them.

There is a link to the full study in the source article.

5 Myths About Older Workers Debunked

  1. I can’t learn new things.
  2. I am less productive.
  3. I take more time off sick.
  4. I will retire and leave the organization.
  5. I am overqualified.

For obvious reasons I loved this article. 

The stereotypes of older workers persist.  May you live long enough to understand the truth.

  1. I learn something new every day.
  2. I am as productive in my work currently as I was years ago.
  3. I haven’t taken a sick day off in years.
  4. I will eventually retire and leave but not just yet, and
  5. YES I AM OVERQUALIFIED.  You’re getting a helluva lot of experience and expertise CHEAP.

 

OA is a Pain in the Hands (try exercises)

The source article is here.

For many people, hand strength declines with age, especially if arthritis sets in, making it hard to go about daily tasks. A study published in 2017 in Arthritis & Rheumatology estimated that the overall lifetime risk of hand osteoarthritis is close to 40 percent, with twice as many women as men developing it. People who are obese are also more susceptible—possibly because obesity increases chronic low-level inflammation, which contributes to joint damage.

All of a sudden I’m paying more attention to those infomercials that are selling electric jar openers.  An older friend recommended naproxen sodium.  I’m thinking exercise, thus the link to this short informative article.

 

Education, not income, the best predictor of a long life

The researchers point out that better education leads to improved cognition and in turn to better choices for health-related behaviours. Recent decades have seen a shift in the disease burden from infectious to chronic diseases, the latter of which are largely lifestyle-related. As time goes on, the link between education and better health choices, and therefore life expectancy, will become even more apparent.

Read the source article here.

Download the original study at this link.

I should have gone to graduate school.