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As natural dietary sources of vitamin D are not consumed in sufficient quantities, fortified foods could play a role in maintaining vitamin D sufficiency. With public…
As natural dietary sources of vitamin D are not consumed in sufficient quantities, fortified foods could play a role in maintaining vitamin D sufficiency. With public consultation, an integral part of designing acceptable fortification strategies, the purpose of this paper is to understand public awareness and perception of vitamin D fortified foods.
A mixed-methods approach was taken with two focus groups and 109 surveys conducted using a non-probability sample from North-East England. Thematic analysis of focus group data identified six themes, with factor and cluster analysis identifying seven factors and four clusters, respectively, which highlighted differences in vitamin D knowledge and fortified food perceptions.
Despite identifying sunlight as the main vitamin D source (91 per cent), participants were less aware of the main dietary source (33 per cent), and few could state fortified products (51 per cent). Although attitudes towards fortification were generally favourable (63 per cent agreeing that selected products should be fortified), nearly half (43 per cent) were unsure if more products should be made available. Results suggest that more natural products to complement existing market offerings would be most preferred. Factor and cluster analysis results identified awareness of health benefits and/or dietary sources as essential to have favourable attitudes towards fortified products.
This research adds to the limited literature regarding consumer attitudes towards fortified foods. It highlights a need to improve public awareness and labelling of fortified products to potentially increase fortified food consumption.
Vitamin D deficiency is a well-recognised public health problem within the UK, with specific population groups more vulnerable to deficiency. Two pilot studies were used…
Vitamin D deficiency is a well-recognised public health problem within the UK, with specific population groups more vulnerable to deficiency. Two pilot studies were used to explore awareness of vitamin D deficiency and attitudes towards food fortification.
A survey of 120 participants from five at-risk groups (South Asians, Blacks, Middle Eastern, Far Eastern and Caucasian older adults over 65 years) plus a group of British Caucasians who do not avoid sun exposure explored awareness of vitamin D, sun exposure knowledge and behaviour and attitudes towards food fortification. The latter group was included to provide a comparison group who were at a reduced risk of deficiency. χ2 was used to test associations between categorical variables and the study groups. The second study used three focus groups and two interviews, conducted on young South Asian females and examined knowledge and awareness of vitamin D and vitamin D-fortified foods.
A lack of knowledge and misconceptions were highlighted by both studies in relation to at-risk factors, including sunlight exposure (p = 0.037), dietary intakes (p = 0.0174) and darker skin pigmentation (p = 0.023), sources of vitamin D and the health benefits associated with optimal consumption. Attitudes to mandatory fortification of some foods varied significantly (p = 0.004) between the groups with acceptance rates for Blacks (68 per cent), those over 65 years (50 per cent), Middle Eastern (67 per cent) and Far Eastern (73 per cent), whereas the control (71 per cent) showed no acceptance, and South Asians gave a mixed response (48 per cent No). Focus group findings highlighted positive views towards fortification, although this was less for mandatory as opposed to voluntary fortification. Both pilot studies highlight the need for more research into this area, to create more effective public health policies.
The research presents novel insights into a topical area where there is limited research.
What is the learning organization? Why is it important? Learning is often seen as an individual level activity but organizational learning is concerned with collective learning processes. The second half is an annotated bibliography of key books in the field.
We examine the Stein-rule shrinkage estimator for possible improvements in estimation and forecasting when there are many predictors in a linear time series model. We…
We examine the Stein-rule shrinkage estimator for possible improvements in estimation and forecasting when there are many predictors in a linear time series model. We consider the Stein-rule estimator of Hill and Judge (1987) that shrinks the unrestricted unbiased ordinary least squares (OLS) estimator toward a restricted biased principal component (PC) estimator. Since the Stein-rule estimator combines the OLS and PC estimators, it is a model-averaging estimator and produces a combined forecast. The conditions under which the improvement can be achieved depend on several unknown parameters that determine the degree of the Stein-rule shrinkage. We conduct Monte Carlo simulations to examine these parameter regions. The overall picture that emerges is that the Stein-rule shrinkage estimator can dominate both OLS and principal components estimators within an intermediate range of the signal-to-noise ratio. If the signal-to-noise ratio is low, the PC estimator is superior. If the signal-to-noise ratio is high, the OLS estimator is superior. In out-of-sample forecasting with AR(1) predictors, the Stein-rule shrinkage estimator can dominate both OLS and PC estimators when the predictors exhibit low persistence.
In this study we investigated the effects of news reports on acquirer short-term performance. Our focus was on the extent to which key deal characteristics – the type of…
In this study we investigated the effects of news reports on acquirer short-term performance. Our focus was on the extent to which key deal characteristics – the type of deal, during a merger wave or not or the presence of a significant premium – are made explicit. Moreover, we looked for the effect of the assessment of the deal characteristics by different key informants: board members, top management team members, and analysts. Configurations derived using the set-theoretic approach suggest that media-transmitted signals form complex interrelations among content and informant. We found that investors react positively to deals that are surrounded by unequivocal signals of synergy potential: they contain explicitly stated deal characteristics as well as deal endorsements from the boards and/or top management of acquirer and target companies. Analysts’ assessments of the deals seem to bear little influence on investor reaction. Meanwhile, investors react negatively to deals with low or absent media coverage as well as deals surrounded by signals of ambiguous synergy potential.
In a presidential speech to the annual conference of the Academy of Management in Seattle, Professor Lyman Porter took as his theme the progress of work in Organizational Behaviour, and noted the long time‐gap between the discovery of ideas in Organizational Behaviour and their application in Organization Development. With some ideas, twenty years have elapsed between their original discovery and the ability to apply them to real‐life situations.
The objective of the research presented in this paper is to explore the factors associated with company failures in the context of the construction industry. To that end…
The objective of the research presented in this paper is to explore the factors associated with company failures in the context of the construction industry. To that end, the four quadrants of an ‘environment/response’ matrix developed by Boyle & Desai (1991. Journal of Small Business Management, 29, 33–42) are populated with Dun and Bradstreet's US business failure data for the construction industry. The study indicates that budgetary and macroeconomic issues represent 83% of the reasons for construction company failures. This implies that firms that take vigorous administrative measures to address budgeting issues and that react promptly to economic conditions by implementing appropriate strategic policies should be able to avoid failure. On the other hand, issues of adaptability to market conditions and business issues appear to have limited effects on company survivability (6% of the reasons for failure). This implies that administrative measures to fend off internal conflicts that originate for reasons beyond management's control and long‐term strategic decisions to regulate the firm's adaptation to market conditions can also help to prevent failure. An ‘input/output’ model appears to explain the business failure phenomenon better than the ‘environment/response’ one.