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Food literacy interventions in elementary schools: A systematic scoping review

Kelly, RK and Nash, R ORCID: 0000-0003-3695-0887 2021 , 'Food literacy interventions in elementary schools: A systematic scoping review' , Journal of School Health , doi: 10.1111/josh.13053.

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Objectives:Childhood is a critical period for developing healthy behaviors and attitudes towards food. There is a growing interest in school-based interventions that aim to improve food literacy. Therefore, the present systematic scoping review aimed to characterize food literacy interventions in elementary schools. Methods: Databases (PubMed, Web of Science and EBSCO) were searched for food literacy interventions in elementary schools (students aged 4-12 years). Studies were assessed according to design, duration, theoretical underpinning and ascertainment of food literacy outcome(s). Interventions were assessed according to functional, interactive or critical food literacy competencies. Results: After exclusions, 115 studies were eligible for review, including 104 original interventions. Interventions ranged from 45 minutes to 4 years. Social Cognitive Theory was the most frequently used underpinning theory and interventions included; classroom lessons, games, school gardens, food preparation and cooking classes. Most studies measured food literacy outcomes quantitatively (97%, n 112). All studies addressed functional literacy (n 115), while 77% (n 89) addressed interactive food literacy, only 28% (n 32) addressed critical food literacy. Conclusions: In this first international review of food literacy programs in elementary schools we found great heterogeneity in study and intervention characteristics. Most interventions addressed functional and interactive food literacy; whereas critical food literacy requires further research.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Kelly, RK and Nash, R
Keywords: food literacy, elementary, school, scoping review
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of School Health
Publisher: Amer School Health Assoc
ISSN: 0022-4391
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/josh.13053
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Copyright 2021 American School Health Association

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