Nutrition literacy (NL) is the capacity to obtain, process, and understand nutrition information and skills needed to make appropriate nutrition decisions. NL is associated with sociodemographic characteristics and predicted adherence to healthy or unhealthy diet patterns among adults with chronic diseases and pregnant women in the US. However, little is known about the association of NL with sociodemographic characteristics in developing countries.
To assess the NL level and its association with sociodemographic characteristics in bank employees.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
Non-probablistic, quantitative and cross-sectional study carried out in 2020 in the Federal District (DF), Brazil with 1,174 workers aged ≥ 18 years old recruited from a financial institution .
NL was measured by the Nutrition Literacy Assessment Instrument for Brazilians (NLit-Br). We used the online version, validated with confirmed substantial reliability (ICC > 0.75). Sociodemographic questions (age, biological sex, Monthly Household Income (MHI) and education level) preceded NLit-Br. Descriptive analyses were used for NL and sociodemographic characteristics. Student's t-test and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were used to measure associations between NL with sociodemographic characteristics.
Most participants were male (61%), with a graduate degree (74%) and with a MHI higher 7 minimum wages (MW), U$ 1515,31 (85%). The diagnosis of moderate NL level predominated among the population studied (62.3%). Participants who were females aged less than 40 years old and with MHI above U$ 1515,31 had statistically significant higher NL than participants who were male, aged over 49 years old and with an MHI below U$ 1082,36 (P = 0.00).
In this study, participants men, middle and older age (≥50 years old), and with a MHI below U$1298,84 (< 6 MW), had statistically significant lower NL scores. This is one of the first studies to report NL inequality for biological sex and age in Brazil. Future studies should further explore the NL inequality observed for Brazilian males, middle to older adults, and lower household income impacts on their dietary and health outcomes.