From food media entertainment to food literacy education : an investigation into food media content, food media exposure, and food literacy among emerging adults
As emerging adults transition from adolescence to adulthood, they undergo a period of increased independence, including in their food choices and behaviors (Arnett, 2014; Slater et al., 2018). Nevertheless, insufficient knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy related to various practicalities associated with healthy eating is an essential barrier for emerging adults to have a balanced and healthy relationship with food (Hilger-Kolb & Diehl, 2019; Kabir et al., 2018; Larson et al., 2006; Munt et al., 2017; Utter et al., 2018; Wilson et al., 2017). Food Literacy has been put forward as a concept that focuses on a person's ability to acquire food-related knowledge and use knowledge to achieve better dietary outcomes (Slater et al., 2018). Therefore, emerging adults need to acquire food literacy: knowledge, skills, self-efficacy, and behaviors required to plan, select, prepare, consume, and evaluate a healthy meal in ways that promote physiological and psychological health (Vidgen & Gallegos, 2014). Within the specific demographic of emerging adults, food media messages are popular and of interest, warranting an in-depth investigation of food media messages as a strategy for food literacy interventions targeting emerging adults. Former studies have provided some empirical evidence for the effects of food media use but have often neglected to acknowledge the role of media selection and content attributes. However, the selection and exposure processes are critical for understanding the entire media consumption process, including its potential effects on food literacy. Therefore, the current dissertation employs a comprehensive framework guided by uses and gratifications to explore whether and how food media messages can be used to promote food literacy among emerging adults. More specifically, the current dissertation has two research objectives. First, this dissertation investigates the motivations and patterns behind emerging adults' engagement with food media messages and emerging adults' perceptions towards food media messages for enhancing food literacy. Second, this dissertation aims to evaluate some food media messages to which emerging adults are exposed. Five empirical chapters address these research objectives and shed light on the selection of and exposure to food media messages, the characteristics of these food messages, and their relation to emerging adults' food literacy. These insights contribute to the understanding of using food literacy interventions targeting emerging adults "... in the broader context of an increasingly digital and tech-centred world (Fox and Marinescu, 2020)".
Antwerp : University of Antwerp, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Communication Studies , 2024
253 p.
Supervisor: De Backer, Charlotte [Supervisor]
Supervisor: Vandebosch, Heidi [Supervisor]
Supervisor: Matthys, Christophe [Supervisor]
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Creation 19.04.2024
Last edited 20.04.2024
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