Prevalence and Correlates of Dietary and Nutrition Information Seeking Through Various Web-Based and Offline Media Sources Among Japanese Adults: Web-Based Cross-Sectional Study

Kentaro Murakami, Nana Shinozaki, Tsuyoshi Okuhara, Tracy A McCaffrey, M Barbara E Livingstone

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    Abstract

    The advent of the internet has changed the landscape of available nutrition information. However, little is known about people's information-seeking behavior toward healthy eating and its potential consequences. We aimed to examine the prevalence and correlates of nutrition information seeking from various web-based and offline media sources. This cross-sectional study included 5998 Japanese adults aged 20 to 79 years participating in a web-based questionnaire survey (February and March 2023). The dependent variable was the regular use of web-based and offline media as a reliable source of nutrition information. The main independent variables included health literacy, food literacy, and diet quality, which were assessed using validated tools, as well as sociodemographic factors (sex, age, education level, and nutrition- and health-related occupations). The top source of nutrition information was television (1973/5998, 32.89%), followed by web searches (1333/5998, 22.22%), websites of government and medical manufacturers (997/5998, 16.62%), newspapers (901/5998, 15.02%), books and magazines (697/5998, 11.62%), and video sites (eg, YouTube; 634/5998, 10.57%). Multivariable logistic regression showed that higher health literacy was associated with higher odds of using all the individual sources examined; odds ratios (ORs) for 1-point score increase ranged from 1.27 (95% CI 1.09-1.49) to 1.81 (95% CI 1.57-2.09). By contrast, food literacy was inversely associated with the use of television (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.55-0.77), whereas it was positively associated with the use of websites of government and medical manufacturers (OR 1.98, 95% CI 1.62-2.44), books and magazines (OR 2.09, 95% CI 1.64-2.66), and video sites (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.19-1.96). Furthermore, diet quality was positively associated with the use of newspapers (OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.01-1.03) and books and magazines (OR 1.03, 95% CI 1.02-1.04). Being female was associated with using television and books and magazines, whereas being male was associated with using websites of government and medical manufacturers, newspapers, and video sites. Age was positively associated with using newspapers and inversely associated with using websites of government and medical manufacturers and video sites. People with higher education were more likely to refer to websites of government and medical manufacturers and newspapers but less likely to use television and video sites. Dietitians were more likely to use websites of government and medical manufacturers and books and magazines than the general public but less likely to use television and video sites. We identified various web-based and offline media sources regularly used by Japanese adults when seeking nutrition information, and their correlates varied widely. A lack of positive associations between the use of the top 2 major sources (television and web searches) and food literacy or diet quality is highlighted. These findings provide useful insights into the potential for developing and disseminating evidence-based health promotion materials. [Abstract copyright: ©Kentaro Murakami, Nana Shinozaki, Tsuyoshi Okuhara, Tracy A McCaffrey, M Barbara E Livingstone. Originally published in JMIR Public Health and Surveillance (https://publichealth.jmir.org), 14.02.2024.]
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere54805
    JournalJMIR public health and surveillance
    Volume10
    Issue number1
    Early online date14 Feb 2024
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished online - 14 Feb 2024

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    ©Kentaro Murakami, Nana Shinozaki, Tsuyoshi Okuhara, Tracy A McCaffrey, M Barbara E Livingstone. Originally published in JMIR Public Health and Surveillance (https://publichealth.jmir.org), 14.02.2024.

    Keywords

    • health literacy
    • Female
    • Prevalence
    • information seeking
    • Adult
    • Male
    • Japan
    • nutrition
    • diet quality
    • Cross-Sectional Studies
    • Information Seeking Behavior
    • food literacy
    • Humans
    • diet
    • Internet
    • Diet

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