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Julie D. Lanzillo

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Meghan McGurk and Jay Maddock

Background:

Obesity and lack of physical activity are major public health problems in the United States. Well-designed, active living communities (ALCs) can help support physically active lifestyles. This study assessed attitudes of Hawaii decision makers in 2007 and 2013 to determine if priorities toward ALCs changed.

Methods:

Elected and appointed state and county officials were mailed surveys both years. Respondents rated the importance of 23 specified problems, which included 1 obesity variable and 5 ALC variables.

Results:

The survey was completed by 126 (70.4%) respondents in 2007 and 117 (60.9%) in 2013. Among the specific problems, only obesity increased in rank from 14th to ninth place. Three variables fell more than 2 places: increasing traffic (fifth to seventh place), poorly planned development and sprawl (seventh to 11th place) and pedestrian safety (12th to 17th place). The other 2 stayed relatively the same: lack of pedestrian walkways, sidewalks, and crosswalks (16th to 15th place) and lack of recreational activities (22nd to 23rd place).

Conclusions:

Across years, obesity concerns have increased but do not appear to be tied to increases in concern for ALC variables. More education for policymakers on the link between obesity, physical activity, and the built environment is necessary.

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Donald E. Agthe and R. Bruce Billings

A conceptual model was developed to measure the influence of football profits on meeting Title IX gender equity requirements in athletic aid and participation at NCAA Division I-A institutions. Teams in Division I-A of the NCAA play intercollegiate sports at the highest level of competition. Football profits are the largest source of fan based revenue at most Division I-A institutions. An empirical version of the model including football profit, other men's sports profits, conference membership, undergraduate enrollment, endowment, and the existence of the state funding was estimated for 93 institutions. These factors, except undergraduate enrollment and other men's sports profits, significantly influenced meeting the athletic aid standard. Endowment, state funding, and conference membership significantly influenced compliance with participation standard. In addition to the quantitative analysis, responses to an original survey of Division I conference commissioners added a qualitative dimension to this study.

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Emily Goodman, W. Douglas Evans and Loretta DiPietro

Background:

The school setting could be a primary venue for promoting physical activity among inner-city children due to the structured natured of the school day. We examined differences in step counts between structured school days (SSD) and weekend days (WED) among a sample of public school children in Washington, DC.

Methods:

Subjects (N = 29) were third- to sixth-grade students enrolled in government-funded, extended-day enrichment programs. Step counts were measured using a pedometer (Bodytronics) over 2 SSD and 2 WED. Differences in mean step counts between SSD and WED were determined using multivariable linear regression, with adjustments for age, sex, and reported distance between house and school (miles).

Results:

Recorded step counts were low on both SSD and WED (7735 ± 3540 and 8339 ± 5314 steps/day). Boys tended to record more steps on SSD compared with girls (8080 ± 3141 vs. 7491 ± 3872 steps/day, respectively), whereas girls recorded more steps on the WED compared with boys (9292 ± 6381 vs. 7194 ± 3669 steps/day). Parameter estimates from the regression modeling suggest distance from school (P < .01) to be the strongest predictor of daily step counts, independent of day (SSD/WED), sex, and age.

Conclusion:

Among inner-city school children, a safe walking route to and from school may provide an important opportunity for daily physical activity.

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Rodrigo S. Reis, Pedro C. Hallal, Diana C. Parra, Isabela C. Ribeiro, Ross C. Brownson, Michael Pratt, Christine M. Hoehner and Luiz Ramos

Background:

Community programs have been suggested to be an important and promising strategy for physical activity (PA) promotion. Limited evidence is available regarding knowledge of and participation in these programs in Latin America.

Objective:

To describe participation in and knowledge of community PA programs and to explore associations with leisure-time PA in the city of Curitiba, Brazil.

Methods:

A cross sectional telephone survey was conducted among adults in Curitiba, Brazil (n = 2097). The International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to determine levels of PA, and specific questions were used to evaluate the extent to which respondents knew about or participated in the programs conducted by the municipality. Logistic regression was used to assess the meeting of PA recommendations in leisure time based on program knowledge and participation.

Results:

Knowledge of PA programs was high (91.6%) and 5.6% of population participated in the programs. After adjusting for individual characteristics, exposure to Curitiba's PA community programs was associated with leisure-time PA (POR = 2.9, 95% CI = 2.9−3.0) and walking for leisure (POR = 2.4; 95% CI = 2.3−2.4). The associations were stronger among men than among women.

Conclusions:

Knowledge and participation in Curitiba's community PA programs were associated with meeting recommended levels of PA in leisure time.

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Alan Bairner

This article examines the proposals of a ministerial advisory panel that was set up in 2000 to examine the problems confronting soccer in Northern Ireland, not least of which is that the game has been perceived to be administered by and for Ulster unionists. It is argued that although the panel made the case for a more inclusive soccer culture, which would be welcome to Irish nationalists, this advice is at odds with the central message of the Good Friday Agreement, the cornerstone of the peace process. Far from promoting a centrist political culture, the Agreement has actually increased polarization. Reflecting on wider debates on cultural diversity, the article argues that it is difficult to convince sports administrators to accept responsibility for promoting social inclusion in a political context in which difference is celebrated and sectarianism institutionalized.

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Deanna M. Hoelscher, Andrew Springer, Tiffni H. Menendez, Peter W. Cribb and Steven H. Kelder