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      Health behaviors and goal setting among Karen youth

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          The purpose of this paper is to describe and compare the health behaviors of Karen youth with that of the other subpopulation seen at a Minnesota clinic.


          Demographic information and data on health status, recommended health behaviors and goal-setting patterns were collected via a review of the medical records of patients seen at a family medicine residency clinic in St Paul, Minnesota during a one-year period (July 2015–June 2016). Data were summarized using descriptive statistics. Data on Karen patients were compared with data on other populations.


          The study included 765 youths aged 3–17 years. The Karen youth in the study engaged in recommended health behaviors more frequently than their peers on almost every measure. There were statistically significant differences in the amount of sleep, intake of fruits and vegetables, screen time, number of active days per week and consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks between the Karen and their peers overall. Karen youth also reported consuming fewer sweets and fried or processed food than their peers, and they had lower BMI percentiles than other youth.

          Research limitations/implications

          The study relied on participant self-report, which is subject to potential inaccuracies in recall and reporting.


          To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study detailing health behaviors of Karen youth in the USA. The findings suggest a window of opportunity to support and empower Karen families to maintain healthy habits in order to prevent the development of chronic disease in this community.

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          Most cited references 33

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          Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults and Youth: United States, 2015-2016.

          Obesity is associated with serious health risks. Monitoring obesity prevalence is relevant for public health programs that focus on reducing or preventing obesity. Between 2003–2004 and 2013–2014, there were no significant changes in childhood obesity prevalence, but adults showed an increasing trend. This report provides the most recent national estimates from 2015–2016 on obesity prevalence by sex, age, and race and Hispanic origin, and overall estimates from 1999–2000 through 2015–2016.
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            Writing SMART rehabilitation goals and achieving goal attainment scaling: a practical guide.

            To describe a practical method of setting personalized but specific goals in rehabilitation that also facilitates the use of goal attainment scaling. Rehabilitation is a complex intervention requiring coordinated actions by a team, a process that depends upon setting interdisciplinary goals that are specific, clear and personal to the patient. Goal setting can take much time and still be vague. A practical and standardized method is needed for being specific. A novel approach to writing specific, measurable, achievable, realistic/ relevant and timed (SMART) goals is developed here. Each goal can be built up by using up to four parts: the target activity, the support needed, quantification of performance and the time period to achieve the desired state. This method can be employed as part of goal attainment scaling and the other levels can be easily and quickly formulated by adding, deleting and/or changing one or more of the (sub)parts. The success of goal setting and goal attainment scaling depends on the formulation of the goals. The method described here is a useful tool to standardize the writing of goals in rehabilitation. It saves time and simplifies the construction of goals that are sufficiently specific to be measurable.
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              US Immigration Westernizes the Human Gut Microbiome


                Author and article information

                International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care
                Emerald Publishing
                28 November 2019
                : 15
                : 4
                : 320-331
                Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota , St Paul, Minnesota, USA
                Author notes
                Christine Danner can be contacted at:
                633730 IJMHSC-08-2018-0050.pdf IJMHSC-08-2018-0050
                © Emerald Publishing Limited
                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 4, Equations: 0, References: 47, Pages: 12, Words: 5681
                research-article, Research paper
                cat-HSC, Health & social care
                Custom metadata

                Goal setting, Karen, Obesity, Health, Prevention, Youth


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