* Early Life Exposure to Food Insecurity is Associated with Changes in BMI During Childhood Among Latinos from CHAMACOS.
- Early life exposures have been associated with obesity later in life. We aim to assess the association between early life exposure to food insecurity and change in BMI throughout childhood and adolescents. Food security status and growth variables from 243 Mother-child dyads from the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas study were assessed 7 times over a 12-year period. Generalized log linear models with Poisson distributions and linear regression models were implemented to assess the associations between early life food insecurity and obesity and growth. Early life food insecurity was associated with a 0.43 (0.01, 0.82) kg/m2 decrease in BMI from age 2 to 3.5, and a 0.92 kg/m2 (0.38, 1.46) increase in BMI among boys from ages 3.5 to 5, after adjusting for covariates. Sex and age modify the association between early life exposure to food insecurity and BMI.
* "I Took the Trouble to Make Inquiries, So I Refuse to Accept Your Instructions": Religious Authority and Vaccine Hesitancy Among Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Mothers in Israel.
- Voluminous scholarship has shown that religious leaders play an important role in helping patients cope with health issues. There is, however, little research on the impact of religious leaders on parents' decision-making processes pertaining to childhood vaccination. Ultra-orthodox Jewish religious leaders (rabbis) are considered authorities on health issues, and most of them encourage parents to vaccinate their children. Yet, there have been several recent outbreaks of measles in the ultra-orthodox population in Israel, as well as in other countries. The aim is to study the role played by rabbis in the decision-making process of Israeli ultra-orthodox Jewish parents with regard to vaccination. In-depth interviews were conducted during 2019 with ten Israeli ultra-orthodox Jewish mothers who do not vaccinate their children. The interviewees acknowledged that rabbis generally advocate vaccination. Yet they do not consult them and at times even disregard their instructions. The interviewees search for information on vaccination for themselves (mostly online) and decide not to vaccinate their children based on their assessment of risk. Contrary to the scholarly literature that points to the central role of religious leaders in dealing with health issues, the ultra-orthodox mothers' decision not to vaccinate their children appears to have been made despite the rabbis' instructions and not for religious reasons. These mothers' decision-making process is similar to that of mothers who do not vaccinate their children in other countries with respect to the aspect of gender, the search for information, and the reasons reported. Contacting the ultra-orthodox mothers directly and addressing their concerns about risk increase vaccination rates among the ultra-orthodox Jewish population.