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Unravelling the food literacy puzzle: Evidence from Italy

Rocco Palumbo, Paola Adinolfi, Carmela Annarumma, Giuseppina Catinello, Marco Tonelli, Ersilia Troiano, Stefania Vezzosi and Rosalba Manna

Food Policy, 2019, vol. 83, issue C, 104-115

Abstract: Food literacy – i.e. the ability to collect, understand, process, and use relevant information to navigate the food system – is a key concept inspiring food policies across the World. While scholars agree in discussing the interplay between individual food literacy skills and the health, social, environmental, political, cultural, and economic aspects of food consumption, evidence on the extent and consequences of limited food literacy is scattered. This paper tries to shed light on this issue, proposing a measurement approach to assess the food literacy skills of a representative sample of the Italian population. The research findings suggest that problematic food literacy is prevailing: elderly, people with low education, and those suffering from financial deprivation are more likely to show limited food literacy. Inadequate food literacy concurs in producing impaired health status. Integrated policy interventions are needed to improve individual food literacy skills and to support the establishment of a just and sustainable food system.

Keywords: Food literacy; Healthy eating; Food knowledge; Food choice; Inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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