Cancer Control Research7R03CA136457-02
EXPLORING NUTRITION LITERACY IN THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI DELTA
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Nutrition literacy may be defined as "the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic nutrition information needed to make appropriate dietary decisions." The primary objective of this R03 cross-sectional study is to explore the relationship between capacities to process and understand nutrition information and diet quality, specifically adoption of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2005 DG). The secondary objective is to describe the capacity to obtain nutrition information, including awareness of the 2005 DG, predominant patterns of media exposure, type and level of exposure to nutrition information, trusted sources of nutrition information, and barriers to seeking nutrition information. A proportional quota sample, based on educational achievement, of 400 participants residing in the rural Lower Mississippi Delta (Delta) counties of Arkansas and Louisiana will be surveyed. Survey instruments include the validated Newest Vital Sign (NVS), an adapted version of National Cancer Institutes' Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), and a validated food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). A moderated multiple regression analytic strategy will be used to determine main and interaction effects by regressing NVS scores, nutrition information seeking and scanning behavior (SSB), education level, income level, age, race, and gender on diet quality scores. Descriptive statistics including means, standard deviations, and frequencies will be used to summarize the capacity to obtain nutrition information. Research results will identify a relationship between nutrition literacy and diet quality, describe practices used to obtain nutrition information, and establish nutrition literacy baseline data. This research will help determine appropriate channels to communicate scientifically-based nutrition information that meets the nutrition literacy needs of Delta residents. Researchers and nutrition educators could utilize the results of this research to develop appropriate nutrition interventions and media strategies that would promote the adoption of healthy behaviors as defined by the Dietary Guidelines. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The impacts of nutrition recommendations, including the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, are greatly diminished without focused attention on understanding and improving nutrition literacy. We must strive to understand the relationship between nutrition literacy and dietary behaviors, and identify barriers to seeking nutrition information in order to create more effective communication strategies for disadvantaged Americans residing in the Lower Mississippi Delta.