Health and nutrition literacy in adults: Links with lifestyle factors and obesity

Maria Michou, Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos, Christos Lionis, Vassiliki Costarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Low Health Literacy (HL) and Nutrition Literacy (NL) are associated with serious negative health outcomes. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate certain lifestyle factors and obesity, in relation to HL and NL. METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted in the urban area of the Attica region, in Greece. The sample consisted of 1281 individuals, aged ≥18 years. HL, NL sociodemographic characteristics and lifestyle factors (physical activity, smoking status, alcohol consumption,) were assessed. Mann-Whitney U, the Kruskall Wallis, Pearson chi-square tests and multiple linear regression models were used. RESULTS: Linear regression analysis has shown that smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity, were associated with HL levels (-1.573 points for ex-smokers in comparison to smokers, p=0.035, -1.349 points for alcohol consumers in comparison to non-consumers, p=0.006 and 1.544 points for physically active individuals to non-active, p=0.001). With respect to NL levels, it was also not associated with any of these factors. Obesity was not associated with HL and NL levels. CONCLUSIONS: Certain lifestyle factors, including physical activity, are predicting factors of HL levels, in Greek adults. The results contribute to the understanding of the relationship between lifestyle factors and HL and should be taken into account when HL policies are designed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-370
Number of pages10
JournalMediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


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