Title

Development and impact of a food label education intervention on food label knowledge, self-efficacy and stage of change among Latinos: A randomized community trial

Date of Completion

January 2001

Keywords

Health Sciences, Nutrition|Health Sciences, Public Health

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Research has shown positive associations between food label use, nutrition knowledge, and self-efficacy, and dietary quality. However, very little has been published in this area among Latino groups. Based on findings from previous national surveys and community research studies, a randomized community trial was conducted to measure the impact of an experimental nutrition education intervention on the declarative and procedural food label knowledge, food label self-efficacy, and food label stage of change of Latino caretakers living in inner-city Hartford, Connecticut. Ninety-six caretakers were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Intervention (n = 32)—receiving food label and food guide pyramid information; Control (n = 33)—food guide pyramid and dental health information; or Reference (n = 31)—non-nutrition related information. This dissertation is based on comparing results from intervention and control groups. Intervention and control group participants were taken to the grocery store, at pre/post intervention, to assess procedural food label knowledge. One month after the intervention, all participants completed a telephone follow-up survey to assess maintenance of food label knowledge and self-efficacy. Pre/post food label knowledge tests were used to assess the effects of the intervention. All instruments were tested, prior to data collection, for face validity and content validity; also construct validity was assessed through principal component analysis with varimax rotation. After adjusting for baseline pretest scores and past receipt of AFDC benefits, results of intervention vs. control group comparisons (N = 65) revealed that participants in the intervention group had significantly higher mean post declarative (8.56 ± 1.99 vs. 5.06 ± 2.03, p < 0.001) and procedural food label knowledge (5.72 ± 1.63 vs. 3.85 ± 1.12, p < 0.001) scores than those in the control group. Similarly, food label self-efficacy was significantly higher in the intervention group at post declarative, post procedural, and follow-up than in the control group (.814 ± .310 vs. .404 ± .309, p < 0.001; .868 ± .272 vs. .433 ± .363, p < 0.001; .814 ± .331 vs. .492 ± .409, p = 0.003, respectively). There was also an increase in food label use in both intervention and the control groups at follow-up. Nutrition education interventions providing both declarative and procedural food label information are important for promoting healthier food selections among Latinos. ^