Are We Closer to International Consensus on the Term 'Food Literacy'? A Systematic Scoping Review of Its Use in the Academic Literature (1998-2019).

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(1) Background: The term 'food literacy' has gained momentum globally; however, a lack of clarity around its definition has resulted in inconsistencies in use of the term. Therefore, the objective was to conduct a systematic scoping review to describe the use, reach, application and definitions of the term 'food literacy' over time. (2) Methods: A search was conducted using the PRISMA-ScR guidelines in seven research databases without any date limitations up to 31 December 2019, searching simply for use of the term 'food literacy'. (3) Results: Five hundred and forty-nine studies were included. The term 'food literacy' was used once in 243 articles (44%) and mentioned by researchers working in 41 countries. Original research was the most common article type (n = 429, 78%). Food literacy was published across 72 In Cites disciplines, with 456 (83%) articles from the last 5 years. In articles about food literacy (n = 82, 15%), review articles were twice as prevalent compared to the total number of articles (n = 10, 12% vs. n = 32, 6%). Fifty-one different definitions of food literacy were cited. (4) Conclusions: 'Food literacy' has been used frequently and broadly across differing article types and disciplines in academic literature internationally. However, agreement on a standardised definition of food literacy endorsed by a peak international agency is needed in order to progress the field.

application, concepts, definition, food literacy, systematic scoping review, Consensus, Food, Health Education, Humans, Internationality, Publications, Time Factors
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Medical Research Council (MR/K023187/1)
MRC (MC_UU_00006/7)
Wellcome Trust (087636/Z/08/Z)
Economic and Social Research Council (ES/G007462/1)
C.T. is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship and the King and Amy O’Malley Trust postgraduate scholarship which funded the cost of this manuscript. J.A. is supported by the UK Medical Research Council (grant number MC_UU_00006/7) and the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), a UKCRC funded Centre of Public Health Re-search Excellence. Funding for CEDAR from Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, Economic and Social Research Council (grant number ES/G007462/1), Medical Research Council (grant number MR/K023187/1), National Institute for Health Research, and Wellcome Trust (grant number 087636/Z/08/Z) is gratefully acknowledged.