Food Choices, Reading Cereal Labels and Oral Health
thesisposted on 2012-12-07, 00:00 authored by Nanna O. Ariaban
A study was carried out to determine covariates of ability to read breakfast cereal labels and if ability to read cereal labels correlates with caregiver’s report of oral health in children. Subjects were recruited from three different dental offices and were given a series of questions to determine whether they could identify and correctly use information about sugar content on breakfast cereal food labels. Information on demographics and oral health was collected from all three groups. Findings from the study showed that food label literacy was related to demographic variables, immigration status and being Caucasian. Among English speaking parents, food label literacy was weakly correlated with recognizing the least-sugared cereal choice. Food label literacy had no correlation with buying the healthier cereal selection. Food label literacy was not found to be correlated with parent oral health for either English or Spanish speaking caregivers. Among English speaking caregivers, food label literacy was weakly associated with child oral health. Among Spanish speaking caregivers, food label literacy was a weak predictor of parents reporting caries-free children. However, these findings show that improvements on ability to read food labels may lead to healthier cereal selection and thus improve children’s oral health.