Just a subtle difference? Findings from a systematic review on definitions of nutrition literacy and food literacy.

Krause, Corinna; Sommerhalder, Kathrin; Beer-Borst, Sigrid; Abel, Thomas (2016). Just a subtle difference? Findings from a systematic review on definitions of nutrition literacy and food literacy. Health promotion international, 33(3), pp. 378-389. Oxford University Press 10.1093/heapro/daw084

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Nutrition literacy and food literacy have become increasingly important concepts in health promotion. Researchers use one or the other term to describe the competencies needed to maintain a healthy diet. This systematic review examines whether these terms are synonymous or if their meanings are substantially different.We searched major bibliographic databases (Web of Science, PubMed, ScienceDirect, CINAHL, SocIndex and ERIC) for publications that provided an original definition of nutrition or food literacy. Then we used Nutbeam's tripartite health literacy model as an analytical grid. The definitions we found included specific competencies, which we mapped to the domains of functional, interactive, or critical literacy.In the 173 full-text publications we screened, we found six original definitions of nutrition literacy, and 13 original definitions of food literacy. Seven food literacy definitions were integrated into a conceptual framework. Analysing their structure revealed that nutrition literacy and food literacy are seen as specific forms of health literacy, and represent distinct but complementary concepts. Definitions of nutrition literacy mainly described the abilities necessary to obtain and understand nutrition information. Definitions of food literacy incorporated a broader spectrum of theoretical and practical knowledge and skills. To be food literate also means to apply information on food choices and critically reflect on the effect of food choice on personal health and on society. Since food literacy is based on a more comprehensive understanding of health behaviours, it is the more viable term to use in health promotion interventions. For the practical implication, a harmonization of the different definitions is desirable.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS)

UniBE Contributor:

Krause, Corinna; Beer-Borst, Sigrid Maria and Abel, Thomas

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services

ISSN:

0957-4824

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Projects:

[841] Enviromental and educational intervention in communal catering to lower salt intake in the Swiss working population Official URL

Language:

English

Submitter:

Doris Kopp Heim

Date Deposited:

07 Dec 2016 23:03

Last Modified:

24 Jun 2018 02:05

Publisher DOI:

10.1093/heapro/daw084

PubMed ID:

27803197

Uncontrolled Keywords:

food health literacy nutrition systematic review

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.91204

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/91204

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