Schools should strive to improve students’ food literacy

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An article published in the Journal of School Health stresses that food literacy–understanding the impact of food choices on our health, environment, and economy–should be a priority for K-12 schools during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

The authors note that it is essential for a person to be food literate to achieve healthy eating. They stress that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated and highlighted pre-existing health inequalities that are largely driven by socioeconomic and environmental factors. Also, addressing the learning gap between children from lower-income and higher-income families, which has been widened by COVID-19, must include efforts to enhance health and food literacy in schools. The researchers offer a model that can serve as a reference for schools as they strive to advance their health and food literacy agendas.

“Similar to health literacy, food literacy involves many skills and is connected to other literacies that help us make health decisions and take actions,” said lead author Sandra D. Vamos, EdD, EdS, MSc, of Western Michigan University. “Our conceptual model as a visual tool draws connections between relevant theories and constructs, which can help guide school-wide thinking and inter-related health and food literacy efforts, whether it be through practice opportunities, research, policy, or interventions.”

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/josh.13055

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