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Status and correlates of food and nutrition literacy among parents-adolescents’ dyads: findings from 10 Arab countries

Version 2 2024-01-28, 04:49
Version 1 2023-09-19, 11:47
journal contribution
revised on 2024-01-28, 04:46 and posted on 2024-01-28, 04:49 authored by Maha Hoteit, Rania Mansour, Hala Mohsen, Khlood Bookari, Fadwa Hammouh, Sabika Allehdan, Dalal AlKazemi, Haleama Al Sabbah, Hasnae Benkirane, Iman Kamel, Radwan Qasrawi, Reema Tayyem


Food literacy is capturing the attention worldwide and gaining traction in the Arab countries. Strengthening food and nutrition literacy among Arab teenagers are important promising empowering tools which can protect them from malnutrition. This study aims to assess the nutrition literacy status of adolescents with the food literacy of their parents in 10 Arab countries.


This cross-sectional study involving a convenient sample of 5,401 adolescent-parent dyads (adolescents: mean age ± SD: 15.9 ± 3.0, females: 46.8%; parents: mean age ± SD: 45.0 ± 9.1, mothers: 67.8%) was launched between 29 April and 6 June 2022 in 10 Arab nations. The Adolescent Nutrition Literacy Scale (ANLS) and the Short Food Literacy Questionnaire (SFLQ) were used to meet the study aims.


More than one-quarter (28%) of adolescents had poor nutrition literacy, with 60% of their parents being food illiterate. The top three countries with nutritionally” less literate” adolescents were Qatar (44%), Lebanon (37.4%), and Saudi Arabia (34.9%). Adolescents’ age, gender, education level, primary caregivers, employment status, and the inclusion of nutrition education in the schools’ curriculum predicted the nutrition literacy levels of Arab adolescents. Besides, parental weight status, health status, parent’s food literacy level, and the number of children per household were significant determinants too. Adolescents studying at a university and having parents with adequate food literacy had the highest odds of being nutritionally literate (OR = 4.5, CI = 1.8–11.5, p = 0.001, OR = 1.8, CI = 1.6–2.1, p < 0.001, respectively).


Nutrition literacy inadequacy among Arab adolescents is a prioritized challenge to be tackled.

Other Information

Published in: Frontiers in Nutrition
See article on publisher's website:


Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2023

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Doha Institute for Graduate Studies
  • School of Social Sciences and Humanities - DI
  • Qatar University
  • Qatar University Health - QU
  • College of Health Sciences - QU HEALTH

Geographic coverage

Middle East and North Africa

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