Effects of the digital divide on the prevention of food risk in Taiwan
Yu-Chan Chiu, Fang-Ying Li
Health Promotion International
health information, Internet, digital divide, food risk prevention, health
Given the frequent occurrence of various food incidents, food safety is a significant public health concern worldwide. Health information plays an important role in risk prevention. As its reach continues to broaden, the Internet is emerging as a major source of health information for the public, although some social groups continue to have limited access. This study investigates the relation between the digital divide and practices for preventing food incidents in Taiwan. Using a nationally representative survey of 2098 adults, the results of our multinomial logistic regression and bootstrapped mediation analysis indicate the existence of second- and third-level digital divides. The association between socioeconomic status and Internet use time and digital skills results in disparities in food risk prevention behaviors and is partially mediated by online food safety information acquisition. Our findings reveal that the digital divide exacerbates health inequalities in food risk prevention. In addition to providing useful food safety information online, communication interventions should address the digital inequality by delivering food safety information through alternative networks for disadvantaged members of the public.