Evaluation tool development for food literacy programs
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Food literacy is described as the behaviours involved in planning, purchasing, preparing, and eating food and is critical for achieving healthy dietary intakes. Food literacy programs require valid and reliable evaluation measures. The aim of this paper is to describe the development and validation of a self-administered questionnaire to measure food literacy behaviours targeted by the Food Sensations® for Adults program in Western Australia. Validity and reliability tests were applied to questionnaire item development commencing with (a) a deductive approach using Australian empirical evidence on food literacy as a construct along with its components and (b) adapting an extensively-tested food behaviour checklist to generate a pool of items for investigation. Then, an iterative process was applied to develop a specific food literacy behaviour checklist for program evaluation including exploratory factor analysis. Content, face, and construct validity resulted in a 14-item food behaviour checklist. Three factors entitled Plan & Manage, Selection, and Preparation were evident, resulting in Cronbach’s alpha 0.79, 0.76, and 0.81, respectively, indicating good reliability of each of these factors. This research has produced a validated questionnaire, is a useful starting point for other food literacy programs, and has applications globally.
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