Widespread patterns of poor dietary behavior are a key factor causing the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases around the world. Research has provided initial insights into the potential of food literacy (FL) to empower individuals to improve their dietary behavior. However, studies on FL interventions in working adults are scarce. The intervention delivered in this study was a comprehensive 3-week full time education-based workplace health promotion program (WHPP) that provided the participants with in-depth knowledge and skills regarding nutrition and health. We aimed to investigate the short- and long-term effects of the WHPP on FL and dietary intake (DI) and to examine the association between FL and DI in a sample of 144 German office workers (30.0% female). Using two random intercept mixed linear regression models, we found significant strong improvements for both FL (β = 0.52, p < 0.0001) and DI (β = 0.63, p < 0.0001) after the WHPP when compared to baseline. Significant long-term improvements at 18 months were strong for FL (β = 0.55, p < 0.0001) and weak for DI (β = 0.10, p < 0.0001). FL showed a significant moderate effect on DI across all measurement time points (β = 0.24, p < 0.0001). We conclude that well-designed WHPPs can induce long-term improvements in FL and DI, and that FL can be viewed as an asset to further expand food-related knowledge and skills and to enhance dietary behavior. Our study fills a gap of long-term findings regarding the role of FL in WHPPs and supports the idea of implementing FL in the development of comprehensive WHPPs to improve DI.
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Meyn, S., Blaschke, S., & Mess, F. (2022). Food Literacy and Dietary Intake in German Office Workers: A Longitudinal Intervention Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(24), 16534. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192416534