How transferrable are the attributes of food literacy: Progressing the development of a food literacy questionnaire

Thompson, C., & Vidgen, H. A.



Measures of food literacy have been developed in several countries, founded on the Vidgen (2014) definition. Despite agreement on this framework, existing questionnaires failed to address the four domains of planning and management, selection, preparation, eating and the eleven components within them. A content validity study of 103 experts across 28 countries by the authors found disagreements in the alignment of items with components. This study aims to describe the positioning of items under the domains and components of food literacy, from an international perspective.


Two rounds of content validation were conducted. Round one participants (n=18) had previously developed food literacy measures based on the Vidgen model. Round two participants (n=85) had cited this definition. Two hundred thirty-five items were aligned to the food literacy components and presented for consensus by qualitative analysis of open-ended comments. Items which moved domains/components between rounds 1 and 2 were extracted and qualitative participant feedback analysed to describe the transition.


Overall, 17 questions changed components between round one and round two, with six remaining in the same domain and 11 changing domains. Items tended to shift to domains/components which are well-published, such as 4.2 which broadly represents ‘nutrition knowledge’ and 3.1 ‘cooking’. Components relating to certain aspects of navigating the food supply, such as 2.1 ‘Access food through multiple sources’ and 2.3 ‘Judge the quality of food’, had less consensus.

Application to practice:

Items within a food literacy questionnaire must address components beyond nutrition knowledge and cooking to ensure other factors which influence food consumption are explored.


Thompson, C., & Vidgen, H. A. (2020, March 13). How transferrable are the attributes of food literacy: Progressing the development of a food literacy questionnaire. In Queensland Dietitian Symposium.

Dr Courtney Stewart (RNutr, FHEA)

BNutrSc, BBiomedSc(Hons), PhD
Director, NPR Consulting

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