Monday, September 24, 2018

Developing food and nutrition literacy with a Facebook group in Croatia #ecil2018

Noora Hirvonen from the university of Zadar in Croatia presented on research of parents’ food choices for their children in the context of digital participatory networks for sharing ideas, asking questions and discussing. Some people are active participants, others are passive in the sense they don’t create content, but lurk and read and can gain benefits from this activity. The research aimed to discover the possible benefits for the group members  in taking part in the Facebook group, which has 108,000 members and is called “homemade food for babies”.  A content analysis was done, members shared occasions where they were given contradictory advice from doctors, the administrators of the group were seen to provide the most expert and correct advice, and were far more trusted than other members or indeed other health professionals. Food allergies and how to deal with them were a major topic of discussion. There was a focus from the administrators on verified sources, such as the WHO. The quantitative study revealed that participants felt they were providing healthier food for their children. The analysis showed that reading the group documents is crucial for nutrition literacy, and using the recipes is important for healthy cooking behaviours. There was only a small difference in perceived food literacy between visibly active and lurking group members.

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