What’s Your Nutrition Literacy?

Health literacy is important to taking care of your health, and nutrition literacy is vital to choosing healthy foods for cancer prevention. But it’s not just a matter of reading comprehension, according to the author of a study presented as a poster at our research conference yesterday.

Try these:

1.Gibbs.NLitBCa.AICR-1.docx

2. If calories are equal for one serving of each food, which provides the most healthful nutrients overall?

A. Applesauce with no sugar added

B. an appleGibbs.NLitBCa.AICRNU

C. applesauce with no sugar added is about equal to an apple in nutrition

3.. If you are trying to eat fewer than 500 mg of sodium per meal, how many cups of this food (Nutrition label) can you eat if you eat nothing else at the meal?

A. 1 cup

B. 2 cups

C. 3 cups

D. 4 cups

 

 

 

 

 

Those were three of the questions used by Heather Gibbs, PhD, at the University of Kansas Medical Center. “Literacy is a functional skill, so nutrition literacy is different than health literacy because we’re also looking at what knowledge and skills are needed in order for people to choose a healthy diet,” said Gibbs.

The three arms of her study included a group of 25 survivors who were currently in a weight-loss program; another group of 30 who were not in a program; and 17 women who were at high risk for the disease but not survivors.

Gibbs remembered one participant who read a question about finding a point of information on a Nutrition Facts label. “She read the question out loud perfectly,” Gibbs says. “But she didn’t understand how to find the answer on the label.”

Other skills Gibbs cites are evaluating fresh foods for quality, such as how much meat was marbled with fat or what colors of vegetables indicated. Participants were also asked whether they used the information on the front of labels, where marketing terms like “natural” or “organic” might make them assume a product is healthy for them; or what information they looked for if they were trying to manage their weight.

The hope is to develop a tool to help dietitians use their time educating people about the things they don’t know about or understand, says Gibbs.


Our Research Conference Buzz Is About to Begin

Despite the warm temperatures it’s definitely autumn here in Washington, DC. With pumpkins on doorsteps, apples a-plenty and Halloween just around the corner – there is no mistaking the sights and smells of the season. For us here at AICR though, Fall means something else – it’s time for our 2014 Annual Research Conference!rescon-banner2-new-logo

In just a few hours we will welcome our delegates and I will have the pleasure of opening the first session.

It’s been a busy week in the office, making the final preparations to get to this point. Every department is involved in making it all happen and is excited to be part of what we consider to be the highlight of our year. We love the buzz of the conference – great presentations, hearing the latest research, meeting our grantees, talking with the poster presenters – along with delicious nourishment from cancer protective meals.

We are always gratified by the passion of the scientists working in this area – it helps us remember the importance and urgency of our mission and we always leave reinvigorated and inspired.

I hope to see many friends and colleagues there and for those who cannot join, please follow and join the conversation on social media. We’ll be posting on our blog several times a day – and tweeting from #AICR14.


New Study: More Healthy Habits to Prevent Colorectal Cancer

canstockphoto2174868Following at least two healthy behaviors that are key AICR Recommendations, such as eating a healthy diet and being active, lowers the risk of colorectal cancer to some degree, with the more you follow the lower the risk, suggests a new study that highlights the importance of practicing multiple healthy behaviors.

Published in BMC Medicine, the study joins a growing body of independent research that investigates how AICR Recommendations for Cancer Prevention link to reduced risk of specific cancers, survivors, and mortality. Here are some of those other studies.

This latest study was conducted among 350,000 Europeans ages 25 to 70. They are part of the large European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), which spans 10 countries. When people joined EPIC they gave information about their diet, smoking, activity and other lifestyle habits. Continue reading