Health Literacy: A Tool to Assess

health litAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the term health literacy refers to, “the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions.”

How does this relate to obesity in children?

According to a recent commentary, studies have found an inverse association between children’s health literacy and body mass index (higher health literacy α lower BMI). However, the authors note that health literacy is difficult to measure… until now! In short, they developed a tool called, the Newest Vital Sign, to assess patients’ mathematical, reasoning, and reading comprehension skills. This tool, which can be conducted in 3 minutes, can help to inform health care providers about patients’ health literacy and if they may need extra help navigating and understanding health information..

Haynes and Browne, 2016



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