Food Literacy: How Do Communications and Marketing Impact Consumer Knowledge, Skills, and Behavior? Workshop Summary


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On September 3–4, 2015, the National Academies of Sciences, Engi­neering, and Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board convened a workshop in Washington, DC, to discuss how communications and marketing impact consumer knowledge, skills, and behavior around food, nutrition, and healthy eating. The workshop was divided into three sessions, each with specific goals that were developed by the planning committee. Session 1 described the current state of the science concerning the role of consumer education, health communications and marketing, commercial brand marketing, health literacy, and other forms of communication in affecting consumer knowledge, skills, and behav­ior with respect to food safety, nutrition, and other health matters. Session 2 explored how scientific information is communicated, including the credibility of the source and of the communicator, the clarity and usability of the information, misconceptions/misinforma­tion, and the impact of scientific communication on policy makers and the role of policy as a macro-level channel of communication. Session 3 explored the current state of the science concerning how food literacy can be strengthened through communication tools and strategies.