Promoting children’s health: Toward a consensus statement on food literacy

Emily Truman, Kim Raine, Kelly Mrklas, Rachel Prowse, Rebecca Carruthers Den Hoed, Katherine Watson-Jarvis, Jewel Loewen, Megan Gorham, Carolin Ricciardi, Sheila Tyminski, Charlene Elliott

Abstract


This consensus statement reflects the views of a diverse group of stakeholders convened to explore the concept of “food literacy” as it relates to children’s health. Evidence-based conceptions of food literacy are needed in light of the term’s popularity in health promotion and educational interventions designed to increase food skills and knowledge that contribute to overall health. Informed by a comprehensive scoping review that identified seven main themes of food literacy, meeting participants ranked those themes in terms of importance. Discussions highlighted two key points in conceptualizing food literacy: the need to recognize varying food skill and knowledge levels, and the need to recognize critical food contexts. From these discussions, meeting participants created two working definitions of food literacy, as well as the alternative conception of “radical food literacy”. We conclude that multiple literacies in relation to food skills and knowledge are needed, and underline the importance of ongoing dialogue in this emergent area of research.


Keywords


Food; diet; health promotion; literacy; education

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17269/cjph.108.5909