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There is good evidence for the benefits of short-term cognitive stimulation therapy for dementia but little is known about possible long-term effects.
To evaluate the effectiveness of maintenance cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) for people with dementia in a single-blind, pragmatic randomised controlled trial including a substudy with participants taking acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs).
The participants were 236 people with dementia from 9 care homes and 9 community services. Prior to randomisation all participants received the 7-week, 14-session CST programme. The intervention group received the weekly maintenance CST group programme for 24 weeks. The control group received usual care. Primary outcomes were cognition and quality of life (clinical trial registration: ISRCTN26286067).
For the intervention group at the 6-month primary end-point there were significant benefits for self-rated quality of life (Quality of Life in Alzheimer's Disease (QoL-AD) P = 0.03). At 3 months there were improvements for proxy-rated quality of life (QoL-AD P = 0.01, Dementia Quality of Life scale (DEMQOL) P = 0.03) and activities of daily living (P = 0.04). The intervention subgroup taking AChEIs showed cognitive benefits (on the Mini-Mental State Examination) at 3 (P = 0.03) and 6 months (P = 0.03).
Continuing CST improves quality of life; and improves cognition for those taking AChEIs.
To assess parents’ responses to common, potentially misleading strategies for marketing energy-dense and nutrient-poor (EDNP) child-oriented foods.
Between-subjects online experiment to test whether nutrient claims and sports celebrity endorsements on the front of packs of EDNP products lead parents to prefer and rate these foods more favourably.
A total of 1551 parents of children aged 5–12 years, who were the main household grocery buyers.
Inclusion of nutrient claims or sports celebrity endorsements on EDNP products led parents to perceive these products to be more nutritious than if they did not include such promotions. When asked to choose between a pair of different products (EDNP v. healthier), 56 % of parents did not read a nutrition information panel (NIP) before making their choice and this did not differ by promotion condition. These parents were more likely to choose an EDNP product if it included a nutrient claim (OR = 1·83, 95 % CI 1·31, 2·56; P < 0·001) or sports celebrity endorsement (OR = 2·37, 95 % CI 1·70, 3·32; P < 0·001). Sports celebrity endorsements also enhanced parent's perceptions of typical consumers of the product, perceptions of product healthiness and quality, as well as purchase intentions.
Nutrient claims and sports celebrity endorsements tip consumer preferences towards EDNP products bearing such promotions, especially among the majority who do not read the NIP. As parents largely determine what foods are available to children at home, it is critical that initiatives aimed at reducing the persuasive impact of food marketing include this target group.
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