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To examine the variety of fruits and vegetables lower income households in the USA can buy while meeting Federal dietary recommendations at different levels of expenditure.
Simulation techniques were used to create 3000 market baskets of fruits and vegetables. All baskets contained enough food for a four-person household to meet dietary recommendations for fruits and vegetables over 1 week. Each basket’s retail value was estimated along with the ability of a representative household to afford each basket with different levels of expenditure.
We used data from the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Fruit and Vegetable Prices data product which reports a US household’s costs to buy each of 157 different fruit and vegetable products per edible cup equivalent.
We consider the situation facing a lower income household that receives maximum benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). These benefits are enough for the household to obtain a nutritious and palatable diet without spending any of its own money on food if it approximately follows USDA’s Thrifty Food Plan.
Households receiving maximum SNAP benefits can buy a sufficient variety and quantity of fruits and vegetables if they allocate about 40 % of those benefits to these two food groups. However, if households spend less than that amount, the variety of products they can buy while still satisfying recommendations drops off quickly.
Households that move fruits and vegetables to the centre of their budgets can better afford to meet Federal dietary guidelines.
Retail sales of fluid cow’s milk are decreasing while those of plant-based milk analogues are increasing. In this study, we model the relationship between households’ purchases of both types of products and perform simulations. Results show that growing consumer demand for plant-based products is causing cow’s milk sales to decline somewhat faster than otherwise. However, plant-based products are not a primary driver of sales trends for cow’s milk. The decline in cow’s milk sales is substantially greater than the rise in sales of plant-based analogues.
To explore the effect of seasonality on fruit and vegetable availability and prices across three outlet types (farmers’ markets, roadside stands and conventional supermarkets).
Cross-sectional survey of geographically clustered supermarkets, farmers’ markets and roadside stands. Enumerators recorded the availability and lowest price for eleven fruits and eighteen vegetables in each season of 2011.
Price data were collected at retail outlets located in central and eastern North Carolina.
The sample consisted of thirty-three supermarkets, thirty-four farmers’ markets and twenty-three roadside stands.
Outside the local harvest season, the availability of many fruits and vegetables was substantially lower at farmers’ markets and roadside stands compared with supermarkets. Given sufficient availability, some items were significantly cheaper (P<0·05) at direct retail outlets in the peak season (e.g. cantaloupe cost 36·0 % less at roadside stands than supermarkets), while others were significantly more expensive (e.g. carrots cost 137·9 % more at farmers’ markets than supermarkets). Although small samples limited statistical power in many non-peak comparisons, these results also showed some differences by item: two-thirds of fruits were cheaper at one or both direct outlets in the spring and autumn, whereas five of eighteen vegetables cost more at direct retail year-round.
Commonly consumed fruits and vegetables were more widely available at supermarkets in central and eastern North Carolina than at direct retail outlets, in each season. Contingent on item availability, price competitiveness of the direct retail outlets varied by fruit and vegetable. For many items, the outlets compete on price in more than one season.
Farm milk prices tend to be volatile. Dairy farmers, industry pundits, and policymakers further tend to react to price volatility with alarm. One point of concern is the response of retail prices. This study investigates farm-to-retail price transmission in the 2000s for whole milk and Cheddar cheese. Results show that price shocks at the farm gate are transmitted with delay and asymmetry to retail. Differences in the nature of price transmission for whole milk and Cheddar cheese prices are also identified.
Health care professionals (HCPs) in New Zealand have access to free smoking cessation training that enables them to deliver smoking cessation support and provide Government subsidised nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). However, it is unknown how many trainees go on to provide cessation services or what level of smoking cessation support activity they undertake. A questionnaire was sent to 1183 HCPs to assess this and also enquire about barriers to establishing and/or providing a cessation service. Despite a low response rate (11%) a number of important issues were identified; 84% of respondents had provided smoking cessation treatment and the majority of these (92%) were still providing treatment. The most frequent barriers reported were lack of dedicated time and funding to provide treatment. Support in establishing smoking cessation treatment and ongoing training support were the 2 main trainee needs. Smoking cessation specialists are a relatively new group of HCPs whose numbers are likely to grow. Smoking cessation training should address the needs of HCPs and a range of barriers to implementing treatment.
Low positive emotionality (PE; e.g., listlessness, anhedonia, and lack
of enthusiasm) has been hypothesized to be a temperamental precursor or
risk factor for depression. The present study sought to evaluate the
validity of this hypothesis by testing whether low PE children have
similar external correlates as individuals with depression. This paper
focused on the external correlate of EEG asymmetry. Previous studies have
reported that individuals at risk for depression exhibited a frontal EEG
asymmetry (greater right than left activity). Others have reported an
association with posterior asymmetries (greater left than right activity).
In the present study, children classified as having low PE at age 3
exhibited an overall asymmetry at age 5–6 with less relative
activity in the right hemisphere. This asymmetry appeared to be largely
due to a difference in the posterior region because children with low PE
exhibited decreased right posterior activity whereas high PE children
exhibited no posterior asymmetry. These findings support the construct
validity of the hypothesis that low PE may be a temperamental precursor or
risk factor for depression.We gratefully
acknowledge Jurgen Kayser's assistance and advice.
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