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Food Literacy: Definition and Framework for Action

, : Food Literacy: Definition and Framework for Action. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research 76(3): 140-145

The term food literacy is emergent, and as a result the literature reflects a great variety of definitions. Simultaneously, new research and food literacy programming is being developed without an agreed upon definition of what food literacy is and how food skills, food security, and health literacy may fit with the definition. We undertook a scoping review and conceptual analysis to identify how the term is understood and to determine shared components of definitions. We found that although most definitions included a nutrition and food skills component, there was great variation in how the ability to access, process, and enjoy food was affected by our complex food system. We propose a definition of food literacy that includes the positive relationship built through social, cultural, and environmental experiences with food enabling people to make decisions that support health. We offer a framework that situates food literacy at the intersection between community food security and food skills, and we assert that behaviours and skills cannot be separated from their environmental or social context. The proposed definition and framework are intended to be guiding templates for academics and practitioners to position their work in education and advocacy, bringing together separate spheres for collective action.


PMID: 26280794

DOI: 10.3148/cjdpr-2015-010

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