TitleHealth literacy and nutrition behaviors among low-income adults.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsSpeirs, KE, Messina, LA, Munger, AL, Grutzmacher, SK
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Date Published2012 Aug
KeywordsSampling Studies

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between health literacy and nutrition behaviors using a low-income sample. Face-to-face surveys at 11 social services offices generated a convenience sample of 154 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)-eligible adults. We assessed health literacy, fruit and vegetable intake, food label use, consumption of healthy foods, and demographic characteristics. Thirty seven percent of the sample had adequate health literacy as measured by the Newest Vital Sign (NVS). Race and parenthood were significantly related to health literacy scores. Adequate health literacy, as measured by the NVS, was associated with frying chicken less often and eating the peels of fresh fruit more often. The findings suggest that health practitioners should ensure nutrition-related messages are accessible to all of their clients, especially those with the lowest health literacy levels.