Author

Lisa Fishman

Date of Award

2011

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Sandra Butler

Second Committee Member

Gary Schilmoeller

Third Committee Member

Mazie Hough

Abstract

According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 76 million cases of foodborne illnesses occur each year, resulting in 325,000 hospitalizations and nearly 5,000 deaths (Mead, 1999).The National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) results conclude that forty one percent of the U.S. population cannot function at a level that allows them to obtain, process and understand basic health information and make appropriate health decisions. This includes information about foodborne illness and safe food handling practices. Current information available to adults with low literacy levels is targeted to children and is childish in content. Simply providing more information will do nothing to change behaviors. Meaningful behavior change will only occur when information delivery methods meet the needs and abilities of the audience. I have incorporated the principles of Plain Language to create a video for low-literacy adults that addresses food safety in the home. My intention is to provide a familiar setting to which adults will relate that models the steps necessary to avoid foodborne illness. The actions are practical and will have a direct impact on reducing risky food handling practices in the home.

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