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The Validation of a Food Label Literacy Questionnaire for Elementary School Children

Reynolds, Jesse S., Treu, Judith A., Njike, Valentine, Walker, Jennifer, Smith, Erica, Katz, Catherine S., Katz, David L.
Journal of nutrition education and behavior 2012 v.44 no.3 pp. 262-266
child nutrition, correlation, elementary students, food and nutrition programs, food choices, food labeling, literacy, nutrition knowledge, nutritive value, questionnaires
OBJECTIVE: To determine the reliability and validity of a 10-item questionnaire, the Food Label Literacy for Applied Nutrition Knowledge questionnaire. METHODS: Participants were elementary school children exposed to a 90-minute school-based nutrition program. Reliability was assessed via Cronbach α and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Validity was assessed comparing the questionnaire’s food choices using an objective metric of nutrition quality, the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI), via t test. Statistical significance was set at .05. RESULTS: Four hundred ninety-nine children participated, 51% were female, and the average age was 8.6 (± 0.9) years. Cronbach α = .77 and ICC = 0.68 (between administrations) were observed. ONQI scores of correct responses were significantly higher when compared to the ONQI scores of incorrect responses (27.4 ± 9.4 vs 16.2 ± 9.4; P = .01). CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: The Food Label Literacy for Applied Nutrition Knowledge questionnaire was found to be both reliable and a valid measure of food label literacy in children taught the Nutrition Detectives program.