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Special Issue "Food Literacy and Public Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Care Sciences & Services".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Andrea Begley
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Health Science, School of Public Health, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
Interests: food literacy program design; implementation and evaluation; public health nutrition policy
Dr. Helen Vidgen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Australia
Interests: nutrition; food literacy; public health; obesity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food literacy is a term that has emerged in public health to describe a collection of factors that influence what people eat and how they determine intake. Operationally it is defined as the inter-related knowledge, skills and behaviours required to plan, manage, select, prepare and eat foods. Vidgen and Gallegos (2014) have gone as far to say it is the scaffolding that empowers individuals, households, communities and nations to protect diet quality by changing and strengthening dietary resilience. This Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health will publish work on any aspects of food literacy research that advance our knowledge for improving diet quality including the following:

  • Evolving definitions, including other descriptions and theoretical approaches;
  • Exploration of measurement and development of valid and reliable research and/or evaluation tools;
  • Assessment of prevalence including evidence for life course or socio-demographic differences;
  • Associations with diet quality and/or health indicators;
  • Design, implementation and evaluation of interventions/programs;
  • Role in food policy and/or health policy.

Papers are invited that provide empirical research, taking a traditional or pragmatic research approach (quantitative and/or qualitative), reviews or critical reflections on food literacy to advance the field. Manuscripts should focus on implications for public health practice and policy.

Dr. Andrea Begley
Dr. Helen Vidgen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Food skills
  • Food resource management
  • Behaviour change
  • Measurement
  • Dietary intakes
  • Diet quality
  • Intervention
  • Food policy

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Promoting Fruit and Vegetable Intake in Parents: A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5206; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18105206 - 13 May 2021
Viewed by 644
Abstract
We conducted a cluster randomised controlled trial of parents in 56 primary schools and community service centres (clusters) to evaluate the effectiveness of a single-session workshop on promoting more fruit and vegetable (FV) intake. A total of 803 parents were randomised to the [...] Read more.
We conducted a cluster randomised controlled trial of parents in 56 primary schools and community service centres (clusters) to evaluate the effectiveness of a single-session workshop on promoting more fruit and vegetable (FV) intake. A total of 803 parents were randomised to the FV intervention arm (16 clusters, n = 197), the more appreciation control arm (19 clusters, n = 270), or the less criticism control arm (21 clusters, n = 336). The FV intake of the FV arm was compared with that of the combined more appreciation or less criticism (MALC) arm. Both arms received a 2 h workshop: (i) the FV arm on increasing FV consumption and related food literacy; (ii) the MALC arm on increasing appreciation or reducing criticism of children. Primary outcomes were FV consumption per day in the past week assessed at baseline, 2-weeks, and 6-weeks. Secondary outcomes were behavioural determinants proposed by the Health Action Process Approach (HAPA), including outcome expectancies, self-efficacy, intention, and planning behaviour. The FV arm had a greater increase in FV consumption than the MALC arm, with large effect sizes (d: 0.97–1.08) and improvements in behavioural determinants with small effect sizes at all time points (d: 0.19–0.43). Our study was the first population-based randomised controlled trial to show that a brief, single 2 h HAPA-based workshop was effective in promoting fruit and vegetable intake in parents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Literacy and Public Health)
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Article
The Impact of Dietary Knowledge on Health: Evidence from the China Health and Nutrition Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3736; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18073736 - 02 Apr 2021
Viewed by 637
Abstract
Promoting a healthy diet through education is part of the Healthy China 2030 action plan. However, studies examining how dietary knowledge affects public health in China are sparse. This study employs multiple waves of the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) data to [...] Read more.
Promoting a healthy diet through education is part of the Healthy China 2030 action plan. However, studies examining how dietary knowledge affects public health in China are sparse. This study employs multiple waves of the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) data to examine the impacts of dietary knowledge on Chinese adults’ health, with a particular emphasis on how the impacts of dietary knowledge vary across different demographic groups. Moreover, we contribute to the literature by incorporating the spouse’s dietary knowledge into the analysis framework to inspect the relationship between a spouse’s dietary knowledge and an individual’s health. Our results indicate that dietary knowledge significantly improves an individual’s health status. However, there is no evidence that an individual’s health is influenced by his/her spouse’s dietary knowledge. Moreover, we find that individuals with a lower level of education and rural residents benefit more from increasing dietary knowledge. Policy implications of this study are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Literacy and Public Health)
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Article
Exploring Food Literacy Domains in an Adult Samoan Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3587; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18073587 - 30 Mar 2021
Viewed by 585
Abstract
Samoan food systems have undergone a dramatic nutrition transition, with dietary patterns changing concurrently with increased rates of obesity and non-communicable disease. Whilst policy action and environmental interventions play an important role in improving access to and consumption of healthy food, the success [...] Read more.
Samoan food systems have undergone a dramatic nutrition transition, with dietary patterns changing concurrently with increased rates of obesity and non-communicable disease. Whilst policy action and environmental interventions play an important role in improving access to and consumption of healthy food, the success of these relies on a greater understanding of individuals’ food knowledge and behaviours. This study aimed to explore these behaviours using the construct of food literacy in an adult Samoan population. A cross-sectional interviewer-administered questionnaire of a convenience sample of 150 adult Samoans (≥20 years) assessed the four domains of food literacy: plan/manage, select, prepare, and eat. Participants generally plan to include healthy food (87%) and budget money for food (87%). The majority know where to find nutrition labels (68%), of which 43% always use them to inform their food choices. Participants were mostly confident with cooking skills, although food storage practices require further investigation. Over 90% agreed or strongly agreed that food impacts health, although understanding of the Pacific Guidelines for Healthy Living was lacking. Understanding the ability of Samoans to plan/manage, select, prepare, and eat food is an important consideration for future interventions aiming to assist this population in navigating the modern-day food system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Literacy and Public Health)
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Article
Measuring Food Literacy: Progressing the Development of an International Food Literacy Survey Using a Content Validity Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1141; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18031141 - 28 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1282
Abstract
Background: The term “food literacy” is increasingly used to describe the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to meet food needs. The aim of this research was to determine content validity for an International Food Literacy Survey. Methods: The literature was searched [...] Read more.
Background: The term “food literacy” is increasingly used to describe the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to meet food needs. The aim of this research was to determine content validity for an International Food Literacy Survey. Methods: The literature was searched for existing items to form an item pool to measure the eleven components of food literacy. Expert consensus was investigated through two related online surveys. Round 1 participants were researchers who had been involved in the development of a food literacy measure (n = 18). Round 2 participants were authors of papers who had used the term (n = 85). Level of agreement was determined quantitatively using the Content Validity Index and compared to open ended qualitative comments. Results: Consensus was achieved on 119 items. Components varied in the ease with which existing validated items could be found and the number of items achieving consensus. Items related to food prepared within the home were more likely to achieve consensus. Additional issues included limited shared understanding of the scope of the term, the validity of items varying according to context and a limited health focus. Conclusions: This study provides a valuable basis upon which to progress the development of a measure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Literacy and Public Health)
Article
Identifying Who Improves or Maintains Their Food Literacy Behaviours after Completing an Adult Program
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4462; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124462 - 21 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 943
Abstract
Food Sensations for Adults is a free four-week nutrition and cooking program that teaches low- to middle-income individuals food literacy. This research aimed to compare demographic characteristics of participants who completed the program’s follow-up questionnaire three months after program completion and assess whether [...] Read more.
Food Sensations for Adults is a free four-week nutrition and cooking program that teaches low- to middle-income individuals food literacy. This research aimed to compare demographic characteristics of participants who completed the program’s follow-up questionnaire three months after program completion and assess whether food literacy and dietary behaviour changes were improved or maintained. Statistical analysis methods used factor scores of the plan and manage, selection, and preparation domains to examine mean self-reported changes in food literacy. Tertile stratification methods calculated changes in participants who had low, middle, and high end-of-program food literacy scores, and multivariable regression analysis explored the associations. The follow-up results (n = 621) demonstrated a statistically significant factor score increase in plan and manage (3%) and selection (7.2%) domain scores, and a decrease in the preparation score (3.1%), and serves of consumed vegetables (7.9%), but were still significantly higher than at the start of the program. At follow-up, participants with low food literacy at the program end significantly improved their follow-up domain scores for plan and manage (60%) and selection (73.3%), and participants with moderate or high food literacy at the program end maintained their follow-up scores. A food literacy program can support adults to improve and maintain their food literacy behaviours and maintain dietary behaviour change; therefore, strategies to support this continued change must be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Literacy and Public Health)
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