Author(s): McClelland JW, Keenan DP, Lewis J, Foerster S, Sugerman S
Nutrition education programs and social marketing campaigns frequently focus on low-income audiences with the goal of improving dietary intake and quality, weight management practices, and physical activity. The impact of nutrition education can be assessed by measuring change in relation to any or all of these broad variables. Unfortunately, little information is available concerning the reliability, validity, and sensitivity to change of measures used to assess these constructs with low-income audiences of adults and adolescents. This article reviews the literature and discusses the types of available measures that have been used and evaluated for the above audiences. It describes specific measures used to assess total diet, consumption of food groups from the Food Guide Pyramid, and behaviors related to weight management and physical activity. Overall, this review suggests that there is a critical need for additional development and evaluation of dietary quality measurement tools for low-income and minority audiences.