Progressing the development of a food literacy questionnaire using cognitive interviews

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



Food literacy is the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to meet food needs and determine intake and is conceptualised as 11 components under four domains of planning and managing, selecting, preparing, and eating.  Previous measures of food literacy vary in their adherence to the conceptualisation.  This study aimed to determine items for inclusion and exclusion in a food literacy item pool.


Cognitive interviews were conducted on an item pool using think-aloud and verbal probing methods.  Data were analysed for applicability, clarity, ambiguity, and logic. Australian residents over 18 years of age were recruited via Facebook residential groups (n=20).


Of the original 116-items, 11 items had limited applicability as living or food provisioning contexts did not apply to all participants. Thirteen items were unclear as the purchasing, provisioning or socialisation behaviours were vague. Thirty-two items had lexical problems with specific terms confusing or ambiguous, and 11 items had logical problems, with items perceived to be addressing the same construct. Overall, 29 items were deleted, 31 retained and 56 revised. An additional 84 items were developed to address participant feedback, resulting in a refined 171-item pool.


This study progressed the development toward a comprehensive, validated food literacy questionnaire.


Thompson, C., Adams, J., & Vidgen, H.A. (2021, December 02-03). Progressing the development of a food literacy questionnaire using cognitive interviews. In Nutrition Society of Australia 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting.

Dr Courtney Stewart (RNutr, FHEA)

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

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