Development and Validation of the Nutrition Literacy Test for Taiwan College Students

Background: Nutrition literacy (NL) is derived from health literacy, and which is used to elaborate individuals’ health literacy regarding eating behavior. College stage is the key period in which an individual’s eating behavior is established, and current findings regarding college students’ nutrition-related problems indicates they are at risk. Thus, to understand the NL status of college students is a priority. Methods: Initial formulation of NL indicators based on Daily Food Guide, followed by a two-round Delphi survey in dietitians, and final selection of indicators. They were used to develop a 32-item NL test spreading in four domains, which was finalized after pretested and administered to a sample of 1269 college students across north, central, and south areas of Taiwan. Results: The response rate was 96%. Cronbach’s α of the test was 0.81, and it passed the proposed indicators (GFI=.926 > .90, AGFI=.913 > .90, RMSEA=.015 < .08) using confirmatory factor analysis. The difficulty level ranged from -3.22 to 0.11 in item response theory analysis. Furthermore, NL scores had a significant positive correlation with healthy eating behaviors. Conclusions: The NL test was found to be reliable and valid with a low level of difficulty for basic NL ability, and it can be used as a reference by governmental nutrition education units to investigate NL among college students with a similar dietary context. Performance of NL was positively correlated with healthy eating behavior. Keywords: Health promotion, Food, nutrition, Adolescent health Key Messages 1.25 nutrition literacy indicators of Taiwan college students were developed 2.A 32-item NL test of Taiwan college students was formulated and validated 3..Performance of NL was positively correlated with healthy eating behavior among college students.

Li-Ling Liao