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Health literacy refers to one’s understanding of healthcare information and the ability to make informed decisions when it comes to health benefits and risks. Obesity is a major health epidemic, so we analyzed and revised a health document from the Obesity Action Coalition website to enhance the understanding and readability of the document for the University of Dayton’s level two Intensive English Program (IEP) students. The original document required a college-age reading level. The IEP students read at a 3rd or 4th grade level, so this document was not appropriate for this audience. We visited with the IEP students to gather information about what they already knew about obesity, what they wanted to know more about, and if they had any questions pertaining to obesity. We were then able to create a new brochure for them, making sure to address the information that was of interest. During our field test with the IEP students, we presented our draft in order to receive comments and questions. After the field testing and running SMOG and Flesch-Kincaid readability tests on the original and drafted documents, the final brochure was created and the IEP students reading level was attained. The document our group created allowed the IEP students to better understand important information about obesity, which was lost in the original document. This revision process shows how important it is to assess the readability of health documents and to make them appropriate for a specific audience.

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Ann E Biswas

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Stander Symposium poster


Presenters: Maddy Rae Dutton, Joseph Cole Emery, Dana Lynn Pflugradt, Collin Robert Rook

Understanding the Intricacies of Obesity