Objective: To develop an instrument to measure the food irradiation beliefs of community nutrition educators and to determine the influence of those beliefs on food irradiation educational outreach. Design: Survey development, cross-sectional telephone survey. Setting: Cooperative Extension Program. Participants: All Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) county extension agents serving in the most populated counties in Texas (n = 134, response rate = 99%). These participants may not be representative of all FCS extension agents. Variables Measured: Food irradiation beliefs and educational outreach as well as selected demographic variables. Analysis: To determine validity and reliability of the instrument, factor analysis and Cronbach's alpha were conducted, respectively. To determine if food irradiation beliefs influenced food irradiation educational outreach, logistic and multiple regression analyses were conducted, with significance set at P < .05. Results: The instrument had adequate reliability; two belief scales were identified through factor analysis, referred to as Safety Beliefs and Understanding Beliefs. Additionally, regression analysis suggested that educators' beliefs about food irradiation influenced the amount of food irradiation education they provided. Conclusions and Implications: Results suggest that educators' beliefs about the safety and their understanding of food irradiation are predictors of the educational outreach they provide about it, indicating the potential value of professional development regarding food irradiation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics