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

  • Rimante Vaitkeviciute (a1), Lauren E Ball (a2) and Neil Harris (a1)

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.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Email rimante.vaitkeviciute@griffithuni.edu.au

References

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Keywords

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

  • Rimante Vaitkeviciute (a1), Lauren E Ball (a2) and Neil Harris (a1)

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