The relationship between food literacy and dietary intake in adolescents: a systematic review

Rimante Vaitkeviciute*, Lauren E. Ball, Neil Harris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective The aim of the present systematic review was to investigate the evidence on the association between food literacy and adolescents' dietary intake. Design The review included searches of six databases with no restriction on the year of publication or language. Setting The studies eligible for review were from five countries/regions: USA (n 6), Europe (n 4), Australia (n 1), Middle East (n 1) and South Africa (n 1). Subjects Adolescents aged 10 to 19 years. Results Thirteen studies were eligible for inclusion. None of the studies investigated all aspects of food literacy. Eight studies reported a positive association between food literacy and adolescents' dietary intake. For example, adolescents with greater food knowledge and frequent food preparation behaviours were shown to have healthier dietary practices. Three studies found a mixed association of food literacy and adolescents' dietary intake. For example, adolescents who frequently helped to prepare dinner had healthier dietary intake, but food shopping tasks were associated with less healthy food choices. Two studies found no association between measures of food literacy and adolescents' dietary intake. Conclusions Food literacy may play a role in shaping adolescents' dietary intake. More rigorous research methods are required to effectively assess the causality between food literacy and adolescents' dietary intake in order to confirm the extent of the relationship. Evidence recommends public health practitioners and policy makers consider new public health strategies that focus on increasing understanding of food literacy in adolescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-658
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Eating behaviours
  • Food literacy
  • Systematic review

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