Exploring nutrition literacy: Attention to assessment and the skills clients need Journal Article


Authors: Gibbs, Heather; Chapman-Novakofski, Karen
Article Title: Exploring nutrition literacy: Attention to assessment and the skills clients need
Abstract: This exploratory study examines nutrition literacy in two parts: 1) the level of attention to health literacy among nutrition professionals, and 2) the nutrition professional's perspective of skills/ knowledge needed to understand nutrition educa- tion. Part 1 included an online survey in which RD participants (n = 206), recruited from three dietetic practice groups, identified use of health literacy assessments during client education. Most participants (79%) did not use a validated health literacy assessment. There was a signi- ficant difference in response to having written materials for different health literacy levels dep- ending on time spent providing nutrition edu- cation, with those sending less time in educa-tion responding they more often had more ma-terials (Chi-square 8.6, p = 0.035) and depending on job description, public health more often than outpatient dietitian (p = 0.006). Part 2 utilized key informant interviews (n = 8), administered by telephone. Content analysis revealed a signifi-cant theme among answers that the skills re-quired for understanding diet education is de-pendent on the type of diet instruction provided, with diabetes frequently noted as a disease re-quiring greater knowledge and skills. Nutrition educators need an instrument to assess client nutrition literacy. Potential instruments should assess skills related to portion size estimation, macronutrient knowledge, interpretation of food labels, and food grouping.
Keywords: Medical Sciences; Nutrition And Dietetics
Journal Title: Health
Volume: 4
Issue: 3
Publisher: W.B. Saunders  
Date Published: 2012
Start Page: 120
End Page: 124
DOI/URL:
Notes: This exploratory study examines nutrition literacy in two parts: 1) the level of attention to health literacy among nutrition professionals, and 2) the nutrition professional's perspective of skills/ knowledge needed to understand nutrition educa- tion. Part 1 included an online survey in which RD participants (n = 206), recruited from three dietetic practice groups, identified use of health literacy assessments during client education. Most participants (79%) did not use a validated health literacy assessment. There was a signi- ficant difference in response to having written materials for different health literacy levels dep- ending on time spent providing nutrition edu- cation, with those sending less time in educa-tion responding they more often had more ma-terials (Chi-square 8.6, p = 0.035) and depending on job description, public health more often than outpatient dietitian (p = 0.006). Part 2 utilized key informant interviews (n = 8), administered by telephone. Content analysis revealed a signifi-cant theme among answers that the skills re-quired for understanding diet education is de-pendent on the type of diet instruction provided, with diabetes frequently noted as a disease re-quiring greater knowledge and skills. Nutrition educators need an instrument to assess client nutrition literacy. Potential instruments should assess skills related to portion size estimation, macronutrient knowledge, interpretation of food labels, and food grouping.
KUMC Authors
  1. Heather Gibbs
    6 Gibbs
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