Ecuador: Communicating to Bridge the Education Gap in Nutrition
After conducting a study in May of 2014 on nutrition communication in Ecuador and how it affects consumer behaviour, researchers identified a gap between the level of education obtained by students and the knowledge of nutrition provided to them. This article uses that study to assess whether or not the communication of nutrition information can be understood with the level of nutrition education available through cultural and educational means. Researchers first gathered data using quantitative methods in a survey administered to students at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. The data was supplemented through qualitative research in a questionnaire administered in a one-on-one interview format, followed by content analysis of food labels found in Ecuadorian grocery stores. Review of all of the data showed a number of problems with the level of education provided to students on the topic of nutrition and the communication of the information available to them. The inconsistency of food labeling in Ecuador also presented an issue. Researchers’ recommendations for the sustainability of healthy living include a standardized curriculum regarding nutrition starting in primary school in order to influence a sustainable level of nutrition education, as well as a standardized and mandatory format for food labelling.