‘Food literacy’ : what is this new piece of jargon? Helen Vidgen wondered exactly this while working as a nutrition advisor in the Queensland State Health Department. Unable to find much in the literature, she embarked on her PhD entitled ‘What is food literacy and does it influence what we eat?’ In this webinar, Helen will provide an overview of her research which defined the term, identified components and developed a model for its relationship to food intake and health more broadly. She will give an overview of the use of the term in policy and practice both in the health sector and beyond.
Helen Vidgen finished high school with a strong interest in food and nutrition and so studied a Bachelor of Applied Science in Home Economics at QUT. A few years later she added a Graduate Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics and has spent most of her career working as a nutritionist.
Helen Vidgen’s first nutrition job was as the sole clinical dietitian in a rural hospital. From there she progressed along the continuum of care from clinical roles in a tertiary hospital, to community nutrition and executive officer roles at Nutrition Australia and finally into public health as one of Queensland Health’s first public health nutritionists. She remained at Queensland Health for twelve years working in their corporate office on policy and planning, and at the service delivery level in the management of nutrition teams. She left to in 2011 to complete her PhD.
Helen is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at the Queensland University of Technology. She is also the National co-convenor for the Food and Nutrition Special Interest Group of the Public Health Association of Australia