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Development of a Menu Board Literacy and Self-efficacy Scale for Children

Williams, Olajide, Leighton-Herrmann Quinn, Ellyn, Ramirez, Mildred, Sawyer, Vanessa, Eimicke, Joseph P., Teresi, Jeanne A.
Journal of nutrition education and behavior 2017 v.49 no.10 pp. 867-871.e1
Hispanics, adults, children, cognition, dietitians, interviews, literacy, nutrition information, readability, self-efficacy, students
An instrument to measure menu board literacy (MBL) was developed to capture children's understanding of menu board nutrition information, including abbreviations, serving sizes and calorie ranges, and self-efficacy for using this information.A list of 55 potential items (47 MBL and 8 self-efficacy) was generated. Content validity was established by 29 registered dietitians. Cognitive interviews were conducted with 24 black and Hispanic fourth- and fifth-grade students to assess comprehension and readability. The researchers assessed reliability in 2 fourth- and fifth-grade convenience samples (n = 32 and 141, respectively) of similarly representative students.The final instrument included 20 MBL and 7 self-efficacy items. Internal consistency estimates at both pretest and posttest for the first sample were 0.88 for the MBL scale and 0.80 for the self-efficacy scale. Results for the larger sample were similar.This instrument could be used for assessing MBL and self-efficacy among fourth- and fifth-grade children. The MBL scale provides researchers and practitioners with a tool to measure the role of nutrition literacy and numeracy in point-of-purchase dietary decisions of children, with the potential for use with low-literacy adults as well.