How much do pregnant women know? An exploratory study on the readability of frequently-used nutrition terms

Chia Ling Chang, Ming Hsin Phoebe Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


People easily access nutrition information just by typing the keywords into the search engine. However, past studies have shown that popular health information websites that are addressed to everyday users tend to be easy to use, while the information quality is questionable. Researchers attempt to increase the readability of nutrition education materials. This study analyzed the nutrition terminology used in government nutrition websites by n-gram cutter and nutrition dictionary. The results of the generated nutrition terminology list were presented to 58 women of first pregnancy, who has the highest demand of nutrition information. This study was designed in two stages. The first stage was content analysis of online nutrition information, which attempted to identify the nutrition terms that have been used. The second stage was the glossary comprehension test on the 58 research participants toward 104 nutrition terms used in the texts. The purpose of this study is to understand the comprehension of first pregnancy women towards nutrition terms and categorize terms by the result. Outcome of the comprehension test shown that self-cognition was highly related to real-cognition, but there are still some exceptions. According to the relations between self-reported-cognition and actual-cognition, terms can be categorized as “familiarized words,” “incomprehensible words,” “overrated vocabulary” and “low confidence word.” In the future professionals are advised to use these terms accordingly based on the different level of comprehension. This study constructs a method of analyzing terms and identifying a list of nutrition terminologies that is accurate and appropriate, which can be applied to different field of professions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-165
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Library and Information Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Content analysis
  • Online nutrition information
  • Readability
  • Women of first pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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