Food literacy, food environments and monitoring and surveillance in public health
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Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Australia
University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1837
Background and Objective: While many aspects of the food environment, such as affordability, accessibility and availability have been extensively explored and evaluated, there is still a limited understanding of the relationship between these aspects and consumer behaviours; such as food literacy. While 66 measures exist to assess aspects of food literacy, only one used cognitive interview methodsand all varied in their ability to capture totality of eating. This study aimed to determine items for inclusion in a food literacy item pool and capture general public’s Interpretation of everyday food literacy practices to develop a comprehensive questionnaire. Methods: Beginning with an item pool from previous studies, cognitive interviews were conducted using think-aloud and verbal probing Methods.  Data were first analysed for applicability, clarity, ambiguity, and logic, then for emergent themes to ensure items captured the totality of the participant’s eating. Australian residents over 18 years of age recruited via Facebook residential groups (n=20). Results: Of the original 116-items, 11 items had limited applicability; 13 items had unclear references; 32 items had lexical problems and 11 items had logical problems.  In total, 29 items were deleted, 31 retained and 56 revised.  Thematic analysis revealed participants limited their responses to consider only conventional practices such as grocery shopping, cooking and planned meals rather than the totality of their eating.  An additional 84 items were developed to address eating out, incidental eating occasions and inconsistencies between participants assumed correct knowledge and that of public health guidelines.  This Resultsed in a refined 171-item pool. Conclusions: This study identified important elements of people’s Interpretations of food and eating that should be considered when evaluating and monitoring in public health nutrition and progressed development of a comprehensive food literacy questionnaire.
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