Functional illiteracy and nutritional education in the United States: A research-based approach to the development of nutritional education materials for functionally illiterate consumers

Madhu Viswanathan, Roland Gau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Nutritional education programs are at the intersection of two important macro-level issues; the rate of functional illiteracy among individuals in the United States and disturbing health and nutrition-related trends in the last two decades. Functionally illiterate consumers form a sizable portion of the population in the United States and a sizable portion of the likely target audience for nutritional education programs. However, until recently, research on functionally illiterate consumer behavior has essentially been nonexistent. This study's analysis of materials currently used in nutritional education programs suggests that such materials should be modified to convey information in a more user-friendly manner On the basis of a case study of a nutrition educational program and interviews and observations of teachers and clients, the authors develop and recommend educational materials using visual displays emphasizing the marketplace context rather than using verbal and numerical modes emphasizing abstract information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-201
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Macromarketing
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2005

Keywords

  • Consumer literacy
  • Educational programs
  • Functional illiteracy
  • Nutritional education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing

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