Applying a Multi-Dimensional Digital Food and Nutrition Literacy Model to Inform Research and Policies to Enable Adults in the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to Make Healthy Purchases in the Online Food Retail Ecosystem
Consavage Stanley, Katherine
Harrigan, Paige B.
Serrano, Elena L.
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The United States (U.S.) Department of Agriculture (USDA)-administered Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) made substantial changes in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. These changes highlight the need to identify the digital literacy skills and capacities of SNAP adults to purchase healthy groceries online. We conducted a scoping review of four electronic databases, Google and Google Scholar to identify studies that measured food and nutrition literacy outcomes for U.S. adults. We applied a multi-dimensional digital food and nutrition literacy (MDFNL) model to assess six literacy levels and components. Of 18 studies published from 2006–2021, all measured functional and interactive literacy but no study measured communicative, critical, translational, or digital literacy. Six studies examined SNAP or SNAP-Education outcomes. Adults with higher food or nutrition literacy scores had better cognitive, behavioral, food security and health outcomes. We suggest how these findings may inform research, policies, and actions to strengthen the multi-dimensional literacy skills of SNAP participants and SNAP-eligible adults to support healthy purchases in the online food retail ecosystem.