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Prev Med. 2009 Jan;48(1):25-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.10.011. Epub 2008 Oct 26.

A randomized trial of a brief multimedia intervention to improve comprehension of food labels.

Author information

  • 1Division of General Internal Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, 10010, USA. jaym01@med.nyu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Food label use is associated with better food choices, an essential part of the management of many chronic diseases. Previous studies suggest lack of comprehension of food labels. We studied a multimedia intervention to improve food label comprehension in a sample of low income patients in New York City.

METHODS:

This randomized study took place at Gouverneur Healthcare Services from 2005 until 2007. The intervention group (n=29) received a Nutrition Facts Label pocket card and viewed a video explaining card use. The control group (n=27) received written materials. Participants completed a 12-item pre- and post-intervention nutrition food label quiz. Quiz scores were analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance.

RESULTS:

The intervention group had greater improvement on the quiz than the control group (p<0.001). There was a three way interaction by time with health literacy and treatment group where the greatest improvement occurred in patients with adequate health literacy in the intervention group (p<0.05). There was no improvement in patients with limited health literacy.

CONCLUSION:

A multimedia intervention is an effective way to improve short-term food label comprehension in patients with adequate health literacy. Further research is necessary to improve understanding of food labels in patients with limited health literacy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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