Monday, August 12, 2019

Peer Status Position within School-Based Hierarchies and Excessive Fat Accumulation in Adulthood—A 30 Year Follow up of a Stockholm Cohort

Rojas, Y.; Almquist, Y.B. Peer Status Position within School-Based Hierarchies and Excessive Fat Accumulation in Adulthood—A 30 Year Follow up of a Stockholm Cohort. Behav. Sci. 2019, 9, 85. August 9 2019.

Abstract: Disadvantaged socioeconomic status is arguably the one exposure that has most consistently been linked to obesity, even more strongly so than diet and physical inactivity, which are the two main perceived root causes of weight gain. However, we still know very little about the relationship between having a disadvantaged social position and excessive fat accumulation, particularly when it comes to whether the relationship in question can also be seen as a long-term one, i.e., spanning from childhood to adulthood. By making use of the unique Stockholm Birth Cohort Multigenerational Study, the present study uses generalized ordered logistic regressions to examine the association between sociometrically assessed peer status position in school at age 13 and excessive fat accumulation at age 32. The results suggest that the odds of having excessive fat accumulation are about 0.5 times lower among popular and accepted children (ORs = 0.52 and 0.56, respectively), compared to those with a marginalized peer status position, independent of other obesogenic risk factors measured both prior and subsequent to peer status position. Our results give support to the notion that improved weight status may be another positive consequence of policies aiming to increase social inclusion within schools.

Keywords: body mass index (BMI); peer status; school; overweight; obesity; Sweden

Lizards prefer to defecate on the largest rock in the territory

Where to do number two: Lizards prefer to defecate on the largest rock in the territory. Simon Baeckens et al. Behavioural Processes, August 7 2019, 103937.

•    In the lab, we examined defecation behaviour of wild-caught Dalmatian wall lizards
•    Lizards preferred to defecate on the largest rock around
•    Defecation site preference did not differ between sexes and among populations
•    Faecal pellets deposited on large rocks may increase visual detectability of faeces

Abstract: Many animals use their excrements to communicate with others. In order to increase signal efficacy, animals often behaviourally select for specific defecation sites that maximize the detectability of their faecal deposits, such as the tip of rocks by some lizard species. However, the field conditions in which these observations are made make it difficult to reject alternative explanations of defecation site preference; rock tips may also provide better opportunities for thermoregulation, foraging, or escaping predators, and not solely for increasing the detectability of excrements. In addition, we still know little on whether lizard defecation behaviour varies within-species. In this laboratory study, we take an experimental approach to test defecation site preference of Podarcis melisellensis lizards in a standardized setting, and assess whether preferences differ between sexes, and among populations. Our findings show that in an environment where all stones provide equal thermoregulatory advantage, prey availability, and predator pressure, lizards still select for the largest stone in their territory as preferred defecation site. Moreover, we demonstrate that lizards’ defecation preference is a strong conservative behaviour, showing no significant intraspecific variation. Together, these findings corroborate the idea that lizards may defecate on prominent rocky substrates in order to increase (visual) detectability of the deposited faecal pellets.

Despite being frequently classified as a “basic” emotion, full-fledged disgust develops considerably later than all other basic emotions; being disgusting is heavily contingent upon cultural learning

Developing Disgust: Theory, Measurement, and Application. Joshua Rottman, Jasmine DeJesus, Heather Greenebaum. Handbook of Emotional Development pp 283-309, July 5 2019.

Abstract: Disgust is a complex and uncharacteristic emotion. Despite being frequently classified as a “basic” emotion, disgust has a wide range of elicitors, many competing functional theories, and a protracted developmental trajectory. This chapter first reviews several ultimate explanations of disgust, highlighting how scholars historically privileged symbolic explanations, while most contemporary researchers believe disgust to be an adaptive pathogen avoidance mechanism. After a brief discussion of techniques for measuring disgust, we describe the current knowledge of the development of disgust, with special attention to the ways in which disgust influences food choice and contributes to contamination sensitivity. While certain aspects of disgust may be universal, its emergence is largely enculturated and its expression is highly variable. We conclude by discussing the ways in which the study of disgust carries practical implications for the diagnosis and treatment of psychopathologies, for nutrition, and for the implementation of public health initiatives. Although scholarly interest in disgust has greatly increased during recent years, there is still much room for further exploration of this enigmatic emotion.

Keywords: Disgust Development Childhood Avoidance Disease Emotion Food