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Public perceptions of cooking and the implications for cooking behaviour in the USA

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Abstract

Objective: Despite the importance of cooking in modern life, public perceptions about what it means to cook are unknown. We aimed to examine perceptions of cooking and their association with cooking confidence, attitudes and behaviours in the USA. Design: We designed and fielded a nationally representative survey among US adults (n 1112) in April 2015. We used factor analysis to identify perceptions about cooking and multivariate ordered logit and Poisson models to explore associations between those perceptions and cooking confidence, attitudes and behaviours. Setting: Nationally representative web-based survey of US adults. Subjects: US adults aged ≥18 years. Results: Americans conceptualized cooking in three ways: the use of scratch ingredients, convenience foods and not using heat. Respondents who perceived cooking as including convenience foods were less confident in their ability to cook from scratch (OR=0·52, P<0·001) and less likely to enjoy cooking (OR=0·68, P=0·01) than those who did not. Although individuals who perceived cooking as including only scratch ingredients reported cooking dinner (4·31 times/week) and using packaged/boxed products (0·95 times/week) the least frequently, few notable differences in the frequency of cooking meals were observed. Conclusions: Cooking frequency is similar among US adults regardless of how they perceive cooking, but cooking confidence and enjoyment are lowest among Americans who perceive cooking as including the use of convenience foods. These insights should inform the development of more specific measures of cooking behaviour as well as meaningful and targeted public health messages to encourage healthier cooking.

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... Most studies assessed food preparation behaviours by measuring time spent on food preparation [1,3,5,7,11,[14][15][16][17][18][19][20] and cooking skills and knowledge [5-7, 9, 13, 18, 21-24]. Some authors were interested in enjoyment of cooking [9,13,18,24,25], others studied use of raw or fresh ingredients requiring no or minimal processing [7,13,[25][26][27], or the complexity of food preparation [10,13]. However, most studies used only one dimension to capture food preparation behaviours. ...
... Most studies assessed food preparation behaviours by measuring time spent on food preparation [1,3,5,7,11,[14][15][16][17][18][19][20] and cooking skills and knowledge [5-7, 9, 13, 18, 21-24]. Some authors were interested in enjoyment of cooking [9,13,18,24,25], others studied use of raw or fresh ingredients requiring no or minimal processing [7,13,[25][26][27], or the complexity of food preparation [10,13]. However, most studies used only one dimension to capture food preparation behaviours. ...
... Unlike socioeconomic disparities in foods and nutrient intake, socioeconomic differences for food preparation behaviours have been explored less, although they might contribute to health inequalities within the population by influencing diet quality. Available studies of food preparation have shown inconsistent evidence of socioeconomic differences in time spent on food preparation [11,16,19,20,28], cooking skills [12,21,23], cooking interest [8,25], preparation from scratch and complexity level for preparation [25,26]. However, few of these studies used several socio-economic (SEP) indicators together [12,16,19,20,28], although the relationship between each of the three major SEP indicators (education, occupation and income) with food preparation behaviours may be independent of the two other SEP factors [29,30]. ...
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Background The specific role of major socio-economic indicators in influencing food preparation behaviours could reveal distinct socio-economic patterns, thus enabling mechanisms to be understood that contribute to social inequalities in health. This study investigated whether there was an independent association of each socio-economic indicator (education, occupation, income) with food preparation behaviours. Methods A total of 62,373 adults participating in the web-based NutriNet-Santé cohort study were included in our cross-sectional analyses. Cooking skills, preparation from scratch and kitchen equipment were assessed using a 0–10-point score; frequency of meal preparation, enjoyment of cooking and willingness to cook better/more frequently were categorical variables. Independent associations between socio-economic factors (education, income and occupation) and food preparation behaviours were assessed using analysis of covariance and logistic regression models stratified by sex. The models simultaneously included the three socio-economic indicators, adjusting for age, household composition and whether or not they were the main cook in the household. Results Participants with the lowest education, the lowest income group and female manual and office workers spent more time preparing food daily than participants with the highest education, those with the highest income and managerial staff (P < 0.0001). The lowest educated individuals were more likely to be non-cooks than those with the highest education level (Women: OR = 3.36 (1.69;6.69); Men: OR = 1.83 (1.07;3.16)) while female manual and office workers and the never-employed were less likely to be non-cooks (OR = 0.52 (0.28;0.97); OR = 0.30 (0.11;0.77)). Female manual and office workers had lower scores of preparation from scratch and were less likely to want to cook more frequently than managerial staff (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001). Women belonging to the lowest income group had a lower score of kitchen equipment (P < 0.0001) and were less likely to enjoy cooking meal daily (OR = 0.68 (0.45;0.86)) than those with the highest income. Conclusion Lowest socio-economic groups, particularly women, spend more time preparing food than high socioeconomic groups. However, female manual and office workers used less raw or fresh ingredients to prepare meals than managerial staff. In the unfavourable context in France with reduced time spent preparing meals over last decades, our findings showed socioeconomic disparities in food preparation behaviours in women, whereas few differences were observed in men. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1186/s12937-017-0281-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
... In fact, the most recent food pyramids, such as the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid and the one designed for the Spanish population [6,7], include culinary skills at the first step, as important tools to achieving a better and healthy diet. Research shows that those who cook and eat more frequently at home usually have a higher intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains [8][9][10][11], and an increased amount of time spent on cooking has been linked to lower BMI [12]. On the contrary, eating outside of the home has been associated with increased consumption of ultra-processed foods, ready-to-eat meals, and calorie-dense convenient foods-behaviors all potentially linked to obesity [13,14]. ...
... It is remarkable that, while learning cooking skills and gastronomy is becoming fashionable in social and mass media, there is a concurrent decline in home cooking worldwide [15][16][17]. The decrease in home cooking can be explained by a plethora of reasons, including urbanization, work schedules, and the incorporation of women into the workforce-since cooking has traditionally been women's responsibility [11,18]. Currently, whilst cooking is in principle no longer needed to feed oneself, the absence of cooking skills and competence can be considered a public health problem, since not knowing how to cook is a barrier to healthy food preparation [19]. ...
... There is growing interest in cooking and food preparation skills across the population and within specific subgroups, and in the implications they may have on food choice and overall health. Previous research has linked home cooking with healthier diets [10,11], and most obesity prevention programs include cooking skill interventions as a tool to empower people to be able to maintain a healthy weight [35][36][37][38]. Nevertheless, the impact of those cooking lessons on behavioral changes or weight status is a controversial topic. ...
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This study focuses on understanding factors that influence food agency in the Spanish population, specifically with regard to cooking habits, knowledge, and determinants and their possible relationship with body weight. A cross-sectional telephone survey was conducted. Individuals were asked about their cooking responsibilities, how they learned to cook, factors that affect their food choices, and their preferred cooking techniques. Anthropometric data were also recorded. Participants were randomly selected, and we finally had 2026 respondents aged ≥18 years (60% women, 40% men). A total of 90.5% of participants stated that they had cooking skills. Women were mainly responsible for cooking tasks (p< 0.05) at all ages. A significantly higher proportion of people under 50 years self-reported that they were "able to cook" in comparison with groups over 50 years. Regardless of age, most participants learned to cook either by practice (43.3%) or from a family member (42.2%). Men tended to be more autodidactic, whereas women reported learning from family. No relation was found between weight status and the evaluated factors investigated. In conclusion, women bear the responsibility for the entire cooking process in families, indicating a gender gap in the involvement of men in cooking responsibilities and competence. More research is needed to assess the influence of cooking knowledge on obesity prevention.
... Subjects' frequency of cooking behavior at home was on average 14.1 times per week, which is equivalent to preparing 2 meals at home per day. However, these findings were different from the findings of other studies [20,21]. In a study on 1,000 Korean men and women aged between 19 and 70 years of age, 4.7 meals per week were prepared at home, and this was much lower than the results of this study [20]. ...
... In a study on 1,000 Korean men and women aged between 19 and 70 years of age, 4.7 meals per week were prepared at home, and this was much lower than the results of this study [20]. A study on American men and women over 18 years of age also found that they prepared meals only 9 times per week [21]. In this study, the frequency of cooking behavior was higher with older age, position as a homemaker, and a lower income. ...
... The subjects' attitudes toward cooking behavior were found to be positive with higher levels of education and income. This result has been supported by another study as well [21]. ...
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Background/objectives: The objective of this study was to examine factors affecting cooking behavior at home. We examined components of the theory of planned behavior, perception of cooking skills, and socio-demographic variables affecting cooking behavior at home. Subjects/methods: The study sample included 425 women raising elementary school children living in South Korea. They responded to an online structured questionnaire. The variables affecting cooking behavior at home were assessed using hierarchical regression analysis. Results: The frequency of cooking behavior at home was 14.1 meals per week. Most respondents showed an intention regarding cooking behavior. The average score for attitude toward cooking behavior at home was 15.1 points (scale of 1 to 25). Attitude and cooking behavior showed a significant positive correlation (P < 0.01, r = 0.22). The subjective norm was 14.6 points (scale of 1 to 25). The subjective norm showed a significant correlation with cooking behavior (P < 0.01, r = 0.18). The control belief was 2.8 points (scale of 1 to 5). The control belief and cooking behavior showed a significant correlation in all questions (P < 0.01, r = 0.25). The subjects were significant confident about their cooking skills, except for Kimchi. Perception of cooking skills showed a significant correlation with all questions concerning cooking behavior (P < 0.01, r = 0.30). Significant variables for predicting intention regarding cooking behavior were perception of cooking skills, employment status, income, and attitude. Significant variables for predicting cooking behavior were employment status, income, control belief, number of children, and behavioral intention. Conclusions: In order to provide nutrition education to increase cooking behavior at home, it is necessary to have a positive attitude toward cooking behavior, increase control belief, and improve confidence related to cooking skills. Moreover, differentiated education based on the employment status of women is needed.
... In-home food preparation (i.e. cooking), a key intermediate step between food access and consumption, is associated with healthier diets Wolfson, 2015), but the extent to which cooking at home is practiced is determined by a complex set of factors Wolfson et al., 2016a;Wolfson et al., 2016b). Not all cooking is healthy, and lack of access to healthy ingredients, particularly high quality and affordable produce, dairy, meat, and fish can be a barrier to cooking healthy meals (Wolfson et al., 2016a). ...
... The survey was fielded online using the GfK KnowledgePanel (GfK, 2013). More information about the survey panel and the specific response rates is available elsewhere (Wolfson et al., 2016b;GfK, 2013). Briefly, the GfK KnowledgePanel is an online panel of approximately 55,000 US adults who are recruited through equal probability, addressbased sampling from a sampling frame covering 97% of US households (including households with unlisted telephone numbers or without landlines) (GfK, 2013). ...
... Twenty-four individuals who completed the survey in < 4 min were excluded; resulting in a final sample size of 1112 and a survey completion rate of 73%. The weighted and unweighted distribution of the sample compared to national rates is available elsewhere (Wolfson et al., 2016b). Participants did not receive an incentive for completing this survey, but GfK panel members are rewarded on a point-based system for completing surveys in which they can redeem points for various items or for cash. ...
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To examine how barriers to healthy food access and household income are associated with cooking and eating behaviors we fielded a nationally representative survey among 1112 adults in the United States in 2015. The survey included measures of barriers to accessing healthy food, household income, and frequency of cooking and eating meals, cooking practices, and other eating behaviors. We used multivariable poisson regression to examine the association of household income and barriers to healthy food access with cooking and eating behavior outcomes. We find that low income was associated with higher barriers to accessing healthy food (barriers) and that both income and barriers were associated with differences in cooking frequency/practices, and consumption behaviors. In interaction models, cooking and eating behaviors did not vary based on barriers for the lowest income level (<$25,000). In the middle income level ($25,000–$59,000), barriers were associated with cooking breakfast (3.35 vs. 2.64 times/week, p = 0.03) and lunch (3.32 vs. 2.56 times/week, p = 0.02) more frequently compared to those who never/rarely encountered barriers. At the highest income level (≥$60,000), barriers were associated with less frequently eating breakfast (4.29 vs. 5.11 times/week, p < 0.001) and lunch (4.77 vs. 5.56, times/week, p < 0.001) compared to those who never/rarely encountered barriers. Barriers to healthy food access are related to both household income and cooking and eating behaviors important for diet quality and healthy eating. Targeted interventions to address time available to shop, and the price, selection and quality of healthy foods, are necessary.
... These scales have expanded the number and types of skills considered important for home cooking and have shown that both cooking and food skills are critical for shaping dietary intake [23]. Other measures of cooking confidence and attitudes as well as how people perceive what it means to cook (related to the role of convenience foods vs. scratch ingredients and whether heat is required for cooking) have also been shown to be important predictors of cooking behavior [24][25][26][27]. ...
... A web-based survey to measure cooking skills, food skills, food agency, cooking attitudes, perceptions about the meaning of cooking, cooking confidence, cooking behavior, and dietary intake was designed. All cooking-related scales and measures were taken from previously validated surveys [22,24,28]. Because the cooking skills and food skills measures had not been validated in a US sample, we conducted "think aloud" cognitive interviews (n = 10) to ensure they were understood as intended and adjusted any wording for a US audience. ...
... Cooking confidence was assessed by asking participants to rate how confident they were on a 7-point Likert scale from 1 ("not at all confident") to 7 ("extremely confident") cooking from scratch using fresh ingredients, following a recipe, cooking a healthy meal, and preparing a meal using a vegetable they have never used before. Cooking attitudes were assessed using 12 questions that asked participants to rate how strongly they agreed (on a 7-point Likert scale) with statements such as "I enjoy cooking" and "cooking takes too much time" [24]. ...
Article
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“Food agency” is one’s ability to procure and prepare food within the contexts of one’s social, physical, and economic environment. In 2018, we used Amazon TurkPrime to field two large national surveys in the United States (US) to examine food agency and several food- and cooking-related factors. The first survey (n = 1,457) was fielded in a national sample of US adults. The second survey (n = 1,399) comprised of parents of 2–9-year-old children. Analyses included hierarchical linear regression to examine factors that explained variation in food agency and used Poisson and generalized linear models to examine the association between food agency and between cooking behavior and dietary intake, respectively. Cooking skills; food skills; and cooking confidence, attitudes, and perceptions explained a high degree of food agency variance. Higher food agency was associated with more frequent cooking of all meals, more frequent scratch cooking, and less frequent cooking with packaged ingredients among both adults and parents. Higher food agency was also associated with higher consumption of vegetables among both adults and children. Food agency encompasses a number of the interrelated factors important for home cooking and is a useful construct for understanding and promoting home cooking behavior.
... frozen and refrigerated ready meals, tinned soup, instant noodles, instant oats) which should not be classified as being home-prepared were decided by the authors a priori. Definitions of 'cooking' have been discussed extensively and remain contested [18,33,34], with many definitions not deeming the application of heat to be a necessary part of this process [34,35]. As a result 'home food preparation' and 'home-prepared food' seem more accurate and are the concepts deployed here. ...
... frozen and refrigerated ready meals, tinned soup, instant noodles, instant oats) which should not be classified as being home-prepared were decided by the authors a priori. Definitions of 'cooking' have been discussed extensively and remain contested [18,33,34], with many definitions not deeming the application of heat to be a necessary part of this process [34,35]. As a result 'home food preparation' and 'home-prepared food' seem more accurate and are the concepts deployed here. ...
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Background: Evidence suggests eating home-prepared food (HPF) is associated with increased dietary quality, while dietary quality varies across socio-demographic factors. Although it has been hypothesised that variation in HPF consumption between population sub-groups may contribute to variation in dietary quality, evidence is inconclusive. This study takes a novel approach to quantifying home-prepared food (HPF) consumption, and describes HPF consumption in a population-representative sample, determining variation between socio-demographic groups. It tests the association between HPF consumption and dietary quality, determining whether socio-demographic characteristics moderate this association. Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of UK survey data (N = 6364, aged≥19; collected 2008-16, analysed 2018). High dietary quality was defined as 'DASH accordance': the quintile most accordant with the Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension (DASH) diet. HPF consumption was estimated from 4-day food diaries. Linear regressions were used to determine the association between HPF consumption and socio-demographic variables (household income, education, occupation, age, gender, ethnicity and children in the household). Logistic regression was used to determine the association between HPF consumption and DASH accordance. Interaction terms were introduced, testing for moderation of the association between HPF consumption and DASH accordance by socio-demographic variables. Results: HPF consumption was relatively low across the sample (Mean (SD) % of energy consumption = 26.5%(12.1%)), and lower among white participants (25.9% v 37.8 and 34.4% for black and Asian participants respectively, p < 0.01). It did not vary substantially by age, gender, education, income or occupation. Higher consumption of HPF was associated with greater odds of being in the most DASH accordant quintile (OR = 1.2 per 10% increase in % energy from HPF, 95% CI 1.1-1.3). Ethnicity was the only significant moderator of the association between HPF consumption and DASH accordance, but this should be interpreted with caution due to high proportion of white participants. Conclusions: While an association exists between HPF consumption and higher dietary quality, consumption of HPF or HPF's association with dietary quality does not vary substantially between socio-demographic groups. While HPF may be a part of the puzzle, it appears other factors drive socio-demographic variation in dietary quality.
... The instrument combined previously validated questionnaires of sociodemographic variables (20) , household food security (8) and household food preparation equipment (18) . Human nutrition professionals pilot tested the instrument for comprehension and length, without changes to the text or time for completion. ...
... Sociodemographic variables included age, sex, ethnicity, highest level of education completed, annual household income, food assistance programmes utilised, household size, marital status and primary food preparer (20) . Selfreported height (feet, inches) and weight (pounds) were queried, and investigators used height and weight data to calculate the body mass index (BMI; kg m À2 ) of each respondent. ...
Article
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Background: Food insecurity (FI) impacted 15.7% (5.9 million) of U.S. households with children in 2017. These households often experience issues within one or more of the food security pillars: access; availability; utilisation, or stability. An underexplored area within the pillar of utilisation that may impact FI risk is availability of kitchen equipment in households. This exploratory project aimed to quantify household food preparation equipment ownership and use by household FI status. Methods: An online platform (Qualtrics, Provo, UT, U.S.A.) was used to administer a questionnaire to a sample of 135 parents of children aged 11 to 14 years. The instrument queried sociodemographic characteristics, food preparation items owned, and frequency of use of 44 items within a 6-month interval. Household FI was measured using the 18-item U.S. Department of Agriculture, Household Food Security Survey Module with a 12-month reference period. Results: Households experiencing FI (n=39, 28.9%) owned an average of 5 fewer items than their food secure counterparts (n=96, 71.1%, P<0.001), reporting lower item ownership within each equipment category subgroup (i.e., large appliances, small appliances, food preparation utensils, and cooking utensils, all P<0.01). There were no differences between FI and food secure households in frequency of use (all P>0.01). Conclusions: Compared to food secure households, the number of food preparation items owned was lower, but frequency of use was the same, in U.S. households that were FI. Future projects should investigate how food equipment ownership impacts cooking behaviours, and whether households experiencing FI display behaviours to compensate for a differing set of equipment.
... The attempts of a parent to cook meals with their children may be related to whether the parent enjoys cooking. In previous studies, it was reported that those who enjoyed cooking possessed the requisite skills [32] and were less likely to use processed or pre-cooked foods [33]. In addition, some studies reported the need for education and support of cooking skills based on the socioeconomic status of the household [34]. ...
... In addition, some studies reported the need for education and support of cooking skills based on the socioeconomic status of the household [34]. Enjoying cooking may be important to encourage parents to cook together with their children [33]. ...
Article
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Background: Parents often have concerns about the food habits of their young children. Cooking is a frequent behavior related to dietary activities at home. We hypothesized that "a parent cooking meals together with young children might alleviate dietary concerns." The aim of this study was to identify the relationship between parental cooking practices (e.g., cooking meals together with the child) and diet-related concerns. Methods: Data were extracted from the "National nutrition survey on preschool children" conducted among nation-wide households with toddlers and preschoolers in 2015 by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan. Parents were classified into two groups comprising those who cooked meals together with their children and those who did not. The following variables were compared: taking too much time to eat (slow eaters), "picky" eating (eating only certain foods), inconsistent food intake (eating too much or too little), playing with food/utensils while eating, preferring sweetened beverages and snacks over meals, eating too fast to chew well, not swallowing food, disinterested in eating, and spitting out food. The associations between parent-child cooking meals together and the concerns pertaining to the child's dietary habits and food intake were analyzed and compared between the two groups. Results: The concerns of "picky eating" and "playing with food/utensils while eating" were lower, while "eating too much" was higher in the parent-cooking together group. The intake frequency of fish, soybeans/soy products, vegetables, and milk among children were higher in the "cooking together" group than among those in the "not cooking together" group. Children in the "cooking together" group consumed a significantly greater variety of foods than those in the "not cooking together" group. Conclusions: Cooking a meal together with a child may be related to the parent's lower concerns about the dietary habits of the child, including "picky eating" and "playing with food/utensils while eating," but may also be related to the higher concerns of "eating too much."
... Definitions of 'cooking' have been discussed extensively and remain contested [21,43,44], with many definitions not deeming the application of heat to be a necessary part of this process [44,45]. As a result 'home food preparation' and 'home-prepared food' seem more accurate and are the concepts deployed here. ...
... Definitions of 'cooking' have been discussed extensively and remain contested [21,43,44], with many definitions not deeming the application of heat to be a necessary part of this process [44,45]. As a result 'home food preparation' and 'home-prepared food' seem more accurate and are the concepts deployed here. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Despite inconclusive evidence, the idea that a lack of home food preparation and skills is a limiting factor in achieving a healthy diet is widespread. Cooking skills interventions proliferate, and several countries now mention cooking in their dietary guidelines. The aim of this study was to determine whether substantial consumption of home-prepared food is necessary for high dietary quality by exploring whether individuals can eat healthily while eating little home-prepared food. The diets of these individuals were characterised, and socio-demographic characteristics and prevalence of obesity were also explored. Methods Cross-sectional analysis of UK dietary survey data with objectively measured height and weight and a 4-day food diary for each participant was conducted. A subsample (N = 1063, aged ≥19 years) with a high dietary quality (determined using a score derived from the Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension (DASH) diet) was analysed. Within this, participants were grouped as either high or low home preparation based on the proportion of energy derived from home-prepared food. Regression models were used to determine whether and how those in the high and low home preparation groups differed in terms of socio-demographic characteristics, DASH score, energy intake, prevalence of obesity, and dietary composition. Results The low home preparation group included 442 participants, while 621 participants were in the high home preparation group. The low home preparation group were more likely to be older and white, and less likely to have a degree level education. After adjustment for socio-demographic characteristics, there were no differences in DASH score, energy intake or obesity prevalence between the groups. After adjustment, the low home preparation group consumed more fruit (30.8 additional g/day, 95% CI 5.5–56.1), more low-fat dairy foods (24.6 additional g/day, 95% CI 1.7–47.5) and less red meat (10.4 fewer g/day, 95% CI 4.3–16.6), but also more sugar (11.6 additional g/day, 95% CI 7.5–15.6) and sodium (107.8 additional mg/day, 95% CI 13.8–201.8). Conclusion Home food preparation should not be presented as a prerequisite to a high quality diet. The public health community should recognise the existence of a set of food practices which allows individuals to achieve a healthy diet with little contribution from home-prepared food, and make space for it in the design of their policies and interventions.
... Most studies assessed food preparation behaviors by measuring time spent on food preparation [2,11,12,24,[31][32][33] and cooking skills and knowledge [13, 14, 17-19, 30, 34-36]. Some authors were interested in enjoyment of cooking [17,18,31,37,38], others studied use of raw or fresh ingredients requiring no or minimal processing [8,17,38,39], or the complexity of food preparation [10,17]. Together, these dimensions may reflect many important elements of a food preparation behavioral pattern. ...
... Most studies assessed food preparation behaviors by measuring time spent on food preparation [2,11,12,24,[31][32][33] and cooking skills and knowledge [13, 14, 17-19, 30, 34-36]. Some authors were interested in enjoyment of cooking [17,18,31,37,38], others studied use of raw or fresh ingredients requiring no or minimal processing [8,17,38,39], or the complexity of food preparation [10,17]. Together, these dimensions may reflect many important elements of a food preparation behavioral pattern. ...
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Background Food preparation behaviors may markedly determine dietary intake and consequently influence weight status. However, the few available studies have found equivocal results. No study has prospectively investigated the association between food preparation behaviors and weight change over time. We estimated the associations of food preparation behaviors with the 5-year relative weight change and the risk of developing obesity in 12,851 French adults participating in the NutriNet-Santé cohort study. The mediating effect of dietary intake was also addressed. Methods Frequency and time for meal preparation, cooking skills, preparation from scratch, kitchen equipment, cooking enjoyment, willingness to cook better/more frequently and dietary intake were assessed at baseline using web-based questionnaire and 24 h records, respectively. Self-reported anthropometric data were collected using questionnaire, at baseline and after 5 years of follow-up. Associations of such behaviors with 5-year relative weight change and the mediation analyses were assessed through multivariate linear regression models, and obesity risk was analyzed with logistic regression, stratified by sex and adjusted for age, household composition, education, occupation, income, physical activity, smoking and history of dieting. Results In women, preparation from scratch was prospectively associated with a decreased risk of obesity over the 5-year follow-up (OR = 1.32 (1.08; 2.32)) after adjustment. After including dietary mediating factors, the association between preparation from scratch and obesity risk in women did not remain significant (P = 0.08). This association appeared to be partly mediated by dietary factors with a difference of 59% of the estimate, in the group with the low score, between the adjusted model and those with mediators (OR = 1.13 (0.71; 1.77)). Regarding 5-year relative weight change, after adjustment for confounding factors, all associations between indicators of food preparation behaviors and weight change became non significant. Conclusions In the context from reduced time spent preparing meals that could have an impact on dietary quality and health in industrialized countries, our prospective study does not show effect of food preparation behaviors on 5-year relative weight change and obesity risk, except for preparation from scratch on obesity risk in women. Our study provides useful information about the long term implications of food preparation behaviors on health and should be corroborated by future studies, particularly on the effect of food preparation behaviors on chronic diseases such as incident diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular diseases, compared with other determinants. Trial registration NCT03335644 on ClinicalTrials.gov Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1186/s12966-018-0747-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
... Il existe à ce jour peu de données pour appuyer cette hypothèse. Toutefois, en accord avec cette idée, plusieurs tudes i di ue t ue l'appa itio des plats p pa s a fait e ge diff e tes a i es de uisi e , i lua t plus ou oi s d'i g die ts uts et/ou d jà p pa s (Short, 2003b;Wolfson, 2016a;Wolfson, 2016b). ...
... Différentes études ont notamment mis en avant une augmentation de la part des aliments préparés hors foyer (incluant les plats préparés) dans le régime alimentaire . De plus, d'aut es do es le t ue les plats p pa s i dust ielle e t so t ai te a t i t g s dans le processus de préparation culinaire (Short, 2003b;Wolfson, 2016a;Wolfson, 2016b). Au contraire, une plus grande implication dans la préparation des repas, incluant la préparation de epas à pa ti d'i g die ts uts, a été associée chez des jeunes adultes âgés de 18 à 23 ans, à une moindre fréquentation des restaurants de type fast-food et à une meilleure adéquation avec les recommandations nutritionnelles concernant les matières grasses, le calcium, les fruits, les légumes et les aliments complets (Larson, 2006). ...
Thesis
L’obésité est aujourd’hui un problème sociétal mondial. Dans les pays développés, l’abondance alimentaire a contribué au développement d’un environnement « obésogène » en favorisant la surconsommation. Ainsi, la promotion de choix alimentaires favorables à la santé représente un enjeu de santé publique majeur. L’objectif de cette thèse était de fournir une approche épidémiologique des choix alimentaires lors de l’approvisionnement et de la préparation des repas. Ce travail a été réalisé sur la population NutriNet-Santé, large cohorte prospective d’observation d’adultes français basée sur Internet.Au moment de l’approvisionnement, les logos d’information nutritionnelle ont été évalués comme des outils potentiels pour guider les consommateurs lors de leurs choix. Quatre logos ont été comparés : les Repères Nutritionnels Journaliers, les Traffic Light Multiples, le logo simple Pick the Tick et le logo 5-Couleurs. Des quatre logos testés, le logo 5-Couleurs était perçu comme le plus facile à identifier et celui demandant le moins d’effort à comprendre. Il était le plus efficace pour augmenter la capacité des individus à classer trois produits en fonction de leur qualité nutritionnelle. Enfin, en situation d’achats simulée en ligne, ce logo était celui qui permettait d’accroitre de façon la plus importante la qualité nutritionnelle du panier d’achat par rapport à une situation sans logo.Lors de la préparation des repas, un premier objectif était de comprendre l’ensemble des déterminants mis en jeu, cette thématique restant peu étudiée dans la littérature. Cinq grandes motivations ont été identifiées : alimentation saine, contraintes, plaisir, régimes spécifiques et organisation. Le fait d’attacher de l’importance à avoir une alimentation saine était associé à une alimentation de meilleure qualité nutritionnelle, ainsi qu’à une moindre susceptibilité d’être en surpoids. Attacher de l’importance à un régime spécifique était également associé à une meilleure qualité d’alimentation mais à un surpoids plus important. Malgré des associations significatives pour les autres motivations, les effets observés étaient de faible ampleur. Ces résultats soulignent l’importance de promouvoir des choix alimentaires favorables au moment de la préparation du repas.Le fait de planifier ses repas, c’est-à-dire prévoir à l’avance ce qui va être consommé sur plusieurs jours, a également été évalué. Globalement, les individus qui planifiaient leurs repas avaient une alimentation plus en adéquation avec les recommandations nutritionnelles et plus variée, bien que les résultats en termes d’apports en énergie et groupes d’aliments indiquaient de faibles différences. Ils étaient également moins susceptibles d’être obèses (et en surpoids chez les femmes).L’ensemble de ces résultats suggèrent l’intérêt de fournir des outils (logo, outils d’aide à la décision au moment de la préparation des repas et d’aide à la planification) afin de guider les individus lors de leurs choix alimentaires et ainsi améliorer la qualité de leur alimentation.
... Survey items deemed as negatively related to cooking (barriers) will be reverse scored to determine mean scores. Within DC CHOC Survey, responses for cooking perception will be dichotomized as agreement with cooking if response is ≥ 5, as reported in Wolfson 2016 [71]. ...
... From the cooking diaries, daily cooking frequency amounts will be aggregated into cooking frequency for each week of the study, the average at each time point of phase 2 for each participant. Cooking frequency at each time point will also be dichotomized based on the average cooking frequency per week of 10.8 out of 21 possible meals, as reported in a national survey of U.S. adults [71]. ...
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Background Cooking interventions have increased in popularity in recent years. Evaluation by meta-analyses and systematic reviews show consistent changes in dietary quality reports and cooking confidence, but not of cardiovascular (CVD) biomarkers. Interventions evaluating or reporting behavioral mechanisms as an explanatory factor for these outcomes has been sparse. Moreover, evaluations of cooking interventions among communities with health disparities or food access limitations have received little attention in the literature. Methods This study will occur over two phases. Phase 1 will assess acceptability among the target population of African-American adults living within an urban food desert. Phase 2 will consist of a 6-week cooking intervention delivered at a community kitchen setting. Pre and post intervention visits for clinical examinations and biomarker collection will be conducted, as well as dietary and cooking skill assessments. Primary outcomes include cooking behavior and feasibility measures. Secondary outcomes are related to dietary quality, psychosocial factors, CVD biomarkers, and food environment measures. Discussion This study seeks to demonstrate feasibility of a community-based cooking intervention and to provide necessary information to plan future interventions that identify cooking behavior as an outcome of participation in cooking interventions among African-American adults, especially in relation to dietary and biomarker outcomes. Trial registration This study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov ( NCT04305431 ) on March 12, 2020.
... According García-González et al. (21) , women take responsibility for the entire cooking process in families. In this context, recent evidence links home cooking with healthier dietary choices and better adherence to nutritional guidelines as important tools to achieving a better and healthy diet (22)(23)(24) . ...
Article
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Objective To evaluate differences in food consumption of Brazilian adults according to the presence of children and adolescents in the household. Design Averages of two non-consecutive days of food records from the first Brazilian National Dietary Survey were analysed and classified into eighteen food groups according to nutritional characteristics and use in diet. We compared the mean percentage contribution to total daily energy intake of each food group according to three groups of household composition: adults living alone or with other adults (32·7 %), adults living with children (35·6 %) and adults living with adolescents (31·7 %). Setting Brazilian nationwide survey, 2008–2009. Participants Adults aged 20–59 years ( n 6312; 52·1 % female). Results Women living alone or with other adults had higher consumption of vegetables, milk and other drinks, and lower consumption of beans and rice, compared with those living with children or adolescents. Men living alone or with other adults had higher consumption of sweets & desserts and vegetables, and lower consumption of beans, compared with those living with children or adolescents. According to household income, adults in the highest tertile who lived with children or adolescents presented a mixed consumption of healthy and unhealthy foods, whereas their counterparts in the first income tertile presented a marked consumption of foods considered traditional of the Brazilian population. Conclusions There are differences in food consumption based on the presence of children and adolescents in the household, with greater variation according to gender and household income.
... Other studies with follow-up that assessed cooking confidence found significant increases after the intervention Garcia et al., 2014;Hutchinson et al., 2016). The confidence to cook has been linked with a better diet quality and cooking from basic ingredients (Lavelle et al., 2016b(Lavelle et al., , 2016a and is an important determinant of cooking behavior (Wolfson, Smith, Frattaroli, & Bleich, 2016b). Further, when participants gain confidence in cooking abilities, they tend to share the knowledge and the culinary preparations with family and friends . ...
... For instance, cookingrelated operations include food preparation, cooking practices, recipe use and food management in addition to cooking . In addition to the diversity of cooking operations, individual differences in the categorization of cooking add to the complexity (Wolfson et al., 2016a(Wolfson et al., , 2016b. For instance, the development of processed foods in developed countries Short, 2003a) and an increased number of double-income families has resulted in an increased consumption of convenience foods to save time in many families while other families adhere to traditional home cooking (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, 1993;Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, 2006). ...
Article
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Cooking is a daily undertaking that ensures the proper ingestion of food. However, mental representations of home cooking have yet to be quantitatively elucidated. The primary purpose of the series of three studies presented here was to quantitatively describe the conceptualization of cooking among Japanese consumers by employing Internet surveys. The first study extracted superordinate categories of cooking-related operations, (1) core cooking, (2) subsidiary cooking and (3) convenience food preparation, for 100 Japanese consumers by utilizing an exploratory factor analysis of 30 presumably cooking-related operations. The second study made further sub-categorizations within each superordinate category by utilizing hierarchical cluster analyses in 500 newly recruited Japanese consumers. Core cooking was sub-categorized into “to pickle” “to cut and heat” “to season” and “to mix”. Subsidiary cooking was sub-categorized into “to preserve” “to acquire” and “to arrange”. Convenience food preparation was not further sub-categorized. In Study 3, based on the fit indices obtained from structural equation modeling, the appropriateness of the categorizations and sub-categorizations of Studies 1 and 2 was confirmed using 500 newly recruited Japanese consumers. Thus, the current study is the first to quantitatively examine the conceptualization of cooking by elucidating the relationships among a variety of cooking-related operations.
... We excluded twenty-five who unrealistically completed the survey in under 4 min, leading to a 73 % completion rate and a final sample size of 1112. The full survey instrument included questions about cooking attitudes and behaviours developed for a separate study (27) . The question text is provided in the online supplementary material, Supplemental File 1. Supplemental File 2 provides further documentation of sampling and other methods using the CHERRIES checklist for reporting results of Internet e-surveys. ...
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Objective Excess meat consumption, particularly of red and processed meats, is associated with nutritional and environmental health harms. While only a small portion of the population is vegetarian, surveys suggest many Americans may be reducing their meat consumption. To inform education campaigns, more information is needed about attitudes, perceptions, behaviours and foods eaten in meatless meals. Design A web-based survey administered in April 2015 assessed meat reduction behaviours, attitudes, what respondents ate in meatless meals and sociodemographic characteristics. Setting Nationally representative, web-based survey in the USA. Subjects US adults ( n 1112) selected from GfK Knowledgeworks’ 50 000-member online panel. Survey weights were used to assure representativeness. Results Two-thirds reported reducing meat consumption in at least one category over three years, with reductions of red and processed meat most frequent. The most common reasons for reduction were cost and health; environment and animal welfare lagged. Non-meat reducers commonly agreed with statements suggesting that meat was healthy and ‘belonged’ in the diet. Vegetables were most often consumed ‘always’ in meatless meals, but cheese/dairy was also common. Reported meat reduction was most common among those aged 45–59 years and among those with lower incomes. Conclusions The public and environmental health benefits of reducing meat consumption create a need for campaigns to raise awareness and contribute to motivation for change. These findings provide rich information to guide intervention development, both for the USA and other high-income countries that consume meat in high quantities.
... One key knowledge gap is the lack of a validated measurement tool for cooking and food-preparation ability; to date ad hoc, unvalidated scales are used (see the discussion in McGowan et al., 2015). One reason for this is the difficulty of adequately defining and theorizing cooking behavior (Wolfson, Smith, Frattaroli, & Bleich, 2016). Lack of a valid tool to measure food preparation ability makes evaluating and comparing the effectiveness of existing and increasingly numerous nutrition-intervention programs based on cooking education impossible (see Wolfson et al., 2017). ...
Article
Researchers studying consumer food-behaviors, like cooking, in everyday life require better tools for assessment of food-related abilities. This study presents a measurement tool for assessing cooking and food-preparation practices: the Cooking and Food Provisioning Action Scale (CAFPAS). The CAFPAS is based on the “Food Agency” framework for understanding cooking behavior as sociological “agency” that emerges from the interaction individual abilities and skills and social structure (see Trubek, Carabello, Morgan, & Lahne, 2017; Wolfson et al., 2017). Thus, the scale seeks to measure the degree to which individuals are able to set and achieve cooking and provisioning goals. Potential scale items were generated and screened by experts (N = 7). The resulting 70 items, with demographic and validation items, were administered to a development sample of US adults through email listservs (N = 445) and administered to an independent validation sample of US adults through Amazon Mechanical Turk (N = 498) and both Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) were used to evaluate structural stability and generalizability. Composite scale scores were regressed against indicator variables – including the Food Involvement Scale (FIS) and self-reported meals cooked at home – to assess construct validity. Close model fit was achieved using 28 items on three subscales: Food Self-Efficacy, which comprises self-perceptions of cooking and provisioning abilities; Food Attitude, which comprises attitudes towards food and cooking; and Structure, the influence of non-food barriers on provisioning. The model was generalizable up to partial-scalar invariance across samples. In linear regression, CAFPAS scores significantly predicted reported meals cooked per week (+1 meal/week per unit increase in CAFPAS). Thus, the CAFPAS is a structurally valid tool, based in a novel paradigm, for evaluating cooking and food-preparation abilities.
... Use of incentives or other monitoring tools, such as social media, should be researched to improve reporting of these data, as should strategies to increase parent involvement in supporting cooking at home as noted by Fordyce-Voordam. 54 Additionally, while several studies measured confidence and perceived self-efficacy in cooking skills or attitudes toward cooking, [55][56][57][58] no method for measuring actual cooking skills in youth has been validated other than through direct observation, which may be unfeasible depending on sample size and constraints of the classroom setting. Development of such a method would constitute a significant contribution to the literature in this domain due to limitations of using measures of perceived ability as a proxy for actual ability. ...
Article
BACKGROUND National data confirm that youth are not eating recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables (F/V), legumes, and whole grains (WGs). Establishing plant‐based eating patterns early in life may positively impact long‐term health through tracking of adolescent eating patterns into adulthood and through potential associations between adolescent dietary intake and adult disease risk. The study aim was to examine the effectiveness of Youth Chef Academy (YCA), a classroom‐based experiential culinary and nutrition literacy intervention for sixth and seventh graders (11‐ to 13‐year‐olds) designed to impact healthy eating. METHODS Study used a nonequivalent control group design with 8 schools selected for similarity in: free/reduced‐price lunch, race/ethnicity, and student mobility rate (N = 248). Primary outcomes were times per day of F/V, vegetable, and WG consumption. Students completed a survey to assess primary outcomes and other measures at baseline and post‐intervention. RESULTS Significant increases in times per day of F/V (p = .022) and vegetable only (p = .015) consumption in the intervention group compared to the control group. Increases in WG consumption showed trended toward significance (p = .071). Student engagement and nutrition knowledge showed significant intervention effects. CONCLUSIONS YCA positively impacts behavioral and knowledge variables related to healthy eating and increases students' engagement in their classrooms.
... To gain insights into the state of domestic meal preparation, research has investigated the perceptions of what constitutes home-cooking and the barriers and facilitators to cooking (Wolfson, Smith, Frattaroli & Bleich, 2016a;Wolfson, Smith, Bleich & Frattaroli, 2016b;Bowen, Elliott, & Brenton, 2014;Soliah et al., 2012). Previous studies have alluded to several barriers to home meal preparation, such as parental employment (Devine et al., , 2009Jabs et al., 2007), lack of time , cost of convenience foods (Brunner, Van der Horst, & Siegrist, 2010), poor cooking skills (Stead et al., 2004;van der Horst et al., 2011), and limited food resources (Vidgen & Gallegos, 2014). ...
Article
Background: Previous research has highlighted an ambiguity in understanding cooking related terminology and a number of barriers and facilitators to home meal preparation. However, meals prepared in the home still include convenience products (typically high in sugars, fats and sodium) which can have negative effects on health. Therefore, this study aimed to qualitatively explore: (1) how individuals define cooking from 'scratch', and (2) their barriers and facilitators to cooking with basic ingredients. Methods: 27 semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants (aged 18-58 years) living on the island of Ireland, eliciting definitions of 'cooking from scratch' and exploring the reasons participants cook in a particular way. The interviews were professionally transcribed verbatim and Nvivo 10 was used for an inductive thematic analysis. Results: Our results highlighted that although cooking from 'scratch' lacks a single definition, participants viewed it as optimal cooking. Barriers to cooking with raw ingredients included: 1) time pressures; (2) desire to save money; (3) desire for effortless meals; (4) family food preferences; and (5) effect of kitchen disasters. Facilitators included: 1) desire to eat for health and well-being; (2) creative inspiration; (3) ability to plan and prepare meals ahead of time; and (4) greater self-efficacy in one's cooking ability. Conclusions: Our findings contribute to understanding how individuals define cooking from 'scratch', and barriers and facilitators to cooking with raw ingredients. Interventions should focus on practical sessions to increase cooking self-efficacy; highlight the importance of planning ahead and teach methods such as batch cooking and freezing to facilitate cooking from scratch.
... NHANES also did not include measures about frequency of cooking other meals. However, other national surveys show that dinner is the most frequently cooked meal in the US [47,48], so the focus on dinner may provide a good picture of household cooking habits (though this may have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic). Relatedly, it is possible that since these data were collected, the relationship between cooking frequency and GHGE has shifted given greater promotion of plant-based diets since 2010. ...
Article
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Shifting consumer behavior towards more sustainable diets can benefit environmental sustainability and human health. Although more frequent home cooking is associated with a better diet quality and fast-food consumption with worse diet quality, the environmental impact of diets based on frequency of cooking or eating fast food is not well understood. The objective of this study was to investigate whether the frequency of cooking dinner at home or eating fast food is associated with dietary greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE). We linked 24-h dietary recall data from adult respondents in the 2007–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) (N = 11,469) to a database of GHGE factors to obtain a measure of dietary GHGE (kgCO2-eq/2000 kcal) (the sum of emissions released in the production of food for an individual’s diet), adjusted by energy intake (kgCO2-eq/2000 kcal). We examined associations between frequency of cooking dinner (the only meal for which cooking frequency was measured), frequency of eating fast food, and dietary GHGE and protein sources (beef, pork, poultry, other meat, and fish and seafood (g/2000 kcal)) using generalized linearized regression models that controlled for age, sex, and other socio-economic characteristics. Greater cooking frequency was associated with higher dietary GHGE. In fully adjusted models, cooking 5–6 times/week was associated with an additional 0.058 kgCO2-eq/2000 kcal (SE 0.033) and cooking 7 times/week was associated with an additional 0.057 kgCO2-eq/2000 kcal (SE 0.027) when compared to cooking 0–2 times/week. Individuals in households who cooked dinner more frequently consumed significantly more meat, poultry, and fish (cooking 7 times/week: 148.7 g/2000 kcal vs. cooking 0–2 times/week: 135.4 g/2000 kcal, p-trend = 0.005), which could explain the association with a higher carbon footprint diet. There were few associations of note between fast-food frequency and GHGE. Policies and interventions that reduce consumption of meat and increase consumption of plants when both cooking meals at home and eating meals out are needed to shift toward diets that will be beneficial for both human health and the health of the planet.
... Studies in other populations have demonstrated that budgeting and cooking skills influence diet outcomes. Several observational and quasi-experimental studies [11,[42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49] and one RCT [50] have shown positive relationships between cooking skills or in-person cooking training and diet quality in adults [51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58]. Quasiexperimental studies that examined the effect of Cooking Matters® on diet quality indicate that individuals who participated in Cooking Matters® reported consuming more vegetables, low sodium foods, and low-fat dairy products 6 months after completion when compared to participants who did not participate in the program [11]. ...
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Background The prevalence of poor diet quality and type 2 diabetes are exceedingly high in many rural American Indian (AI) communities. Because of limited resources and infrastructure in some communities, implementation of interventions to promote a healthy diet is challenging—which may exacerbate health disparities by region (urban/rural) and ethnicity (AIs/other populations). It is critical to adapt existing evidence-based healthy food budgeting, purchasing, and cooking programs to be relevant to underserved populations with a high burden of diabetes and related complications. The Cooking for Health Study will work in partnership with an AI community in South Dakota to develop a culturally-adapted 12-month distance-learning-based healthy food budgeting, purchasing, and cooking intervention to improve diet among AI adults with type 2 diabetes. Methods The study will enroll 165 AIs with physician-diagnosed type 2 diabetes who reside on the reservation. Participants will be randomized to an intervention or control arm. The intervention arm will receive a 12-month distance-learning curriculum adapted from Cooking Matters® that focuses on healthy food budgeting, purchasing, and cooking skills. In-person assessments at baseline, month 6 and month 12 will include completion of the Nutrition Assessment Shared Resources Food Frequency Questionnaire and a survey to assess frequency of healthy and unhealthy food purchases. Primary outcomes of interest are: (1) change in self-reported intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs); and (2) change in the frequency of healthy and unhealthy food purchases. Secondary outcomes include: (1) change in self-reported food budgeting skills; (2) change in self-reported cooking skills; and (3) a mixed-methods process evaluation to assess intervention reach, fidelity, satisfaction, and dose delivered/received. Discussion Targeted and sustainable interventions are needed to promote optimal health in rural AI communities. If effective, this intervention will reduce intake of SSBs and the purchase of unhealthy foods; increase the purchase of healthy foods; and improve healthy food budgeting and cooking skills among AIs with type 2 diabetes – a population at high risk of poor health outcomes. This work will help inform future health promotion efforts in resource-limited settings. Trial registration This study was registered on ClinicalTrials.gov on October 9, 2018 with Identifier NCT03699709.
... Consequently, the observed difference in hypertension could result from different diet preferences by women and men. Furthermore, because of the wide definition of cooking, the observed gender differences might also rise from different perceptions of cooking between men and women [34,38,39]. Men might view preparing ready-toeat-meals as a way of "cooking", while women might consider preparing a full meal as "cooking". ...
Article
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Background: The effect of cooking frequency on hypertension is understudied. This study aimed to examine the effect of cooking on hypertension with a particular focus on gender differences. Methods: The present study utilized cross-sectional data from China Kadoorie Biobank with a 512,891-population of China. Hypertension was identified by established diagnosis or by the 1999 WHO/ISH Guidelines for the Management of Hypertension on examination. Cooking frequency was obtained from a self-reported questionnaire and categorized as daily cooking, weekly or monthly cooking and never cooking. Multivariable logistic regression models were employed to examine the associations between cooking frequency and hypertension in men and women, respectively. Stratified analyses by demographic and socio-economic characteristics were conducted. Results: Men who ever cooked had higher odds of hypertension compared with those who never cooked (weekly or monthly cooking adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 1.05, 95% CI: 1.02-1.07; Daily cooking AOR: 1.09, 95% CI: 1.06-1.11), while protective effects of cooking against hypertension were observed in women (weekly or monthly cooking AOR: 0.94, 95% CI: 0.89-0.99; daily cooking AOR: 0.96, 95% CI: 0.92-0.99). Socio-economic status including occupation, household income, education and region could further modify the effect of daily cooking on hypertension among men and women, respectively. Conclusion: The present study highlighted the effect of cooking on hypertension. We found the opposite trends in men and women with regards to the association between cooking and hypertension. Factors relating to socio-economic status such as education, household income and occupation could further modify the gender-specific effects. Interventions to reduce hypertension should consider the gender differences in food choice and psycho-social stress related to cooking.
... diet-related diseases. Cooking is a complex behaviour that encompasses multiple steps and competencies (29,30) and is perceived and practised differently depending on contextual factors such as income or food access (31)(32)(33) . Cooking more frequently may shift diets away from fast foods and other restaurant foods, and, depending on the cooking method and ingredients, cooking at home results in lower consumption of processed foods that are strongly associated with poor diet and diet-related health outcomes (34,35) . ...
Article
Objective To examine the association between cooking frequency and Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2015, overall and by income, among US adults. Design Cross-sectional analysis using multivariable linear regression models to examine the association between cooking frequency and total HEI-2015 score adjusted for sociodemographic variables, overall and stratified by income. Setting Nationally representative survey data from the USA. Participants Adults aged ≥20 years (with 2 d of 24 h dietary recall data) obtained from the 2007 to 2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey ( n 8668). Results Compared with cooking dinner 0–2 times/week, greater cooking frequency was associated with higher HEI-2015 score overall (≥7 times/week: +3·57 points, P < 0·001), among lower-income adults (≥7 times/week: +2·55 points, P = 0·001) and among higher-income adults (≥7 times/week: +5·07 points, P < 0·001). Overall, total HEI-2015 score was higher among adults living in households where dinner was cooked ≥7 times/week (54·54 points) compared with adults living in households where dinner was cooked 0–2 times/week (50·57 points). In households in which dinner was cooked ≥7 times/week, total HEI-2015 score differed significantly based on income status (lower-income: 52·51 points; higher-income: 57·35 points; P = 0·003). Cooking frequency was associated with significant differences in HEI-2015 component scores, but associations varied by income. Conclusions More frequent cooking at home is associated with better diet quality overall and among lower- and higher-income adults, although the association between cooking and better diet quality is stronger among high-income adults. Strategies are needed to help lower-income Americans consume a healthy diet regardless of how frequently they cook at home.
... These observations have led some experts to conclude that promoting cooking at home, particularly traditional cooking 'from scratch' using basic ingredients, and encouraging the development of cooking skills, could offer one solution for addressing the concerning prevalence of diet-related NCDs [6]. However, currently, there is no consensus around the meanings and implications of cooking at home and, among the general public, interpretations span a wide range of ingredients, products and approaches to food preparation [7][8][9][10]. Lack of clarity over cooking terminology also persists [7,11,12]. ...
Article
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Cooking at home is likely to be associated with benefits to diet and health. However, the nuanced perceptions and practices linked to different types of cooking are not yet fully understood. This research aimed to explore the specific concept of ‘home cooking’, using qualitative research from the UK and US. Data from two previously completed studies exploring cooking at home were combined and a new secondary analysis was undertaken using the Framework Method. Data in the first study were drawn from participants in the North East of the UK who were interviewed. Data in the second study were drawn from participants in Baltimore, US, who took part in focus groups. Data from a total of 71 adults (18 UK and 53 US), with diverse sociodemographic characteristics and experiences of cooking, were analysed. In both countries, participants distinguished ‘home cooking’ as a distinct subtype of cooking at home. ‘Home cooking’ was defined in terms of preparing a meal from scratch, cooking with love and care, and nostalgia. Cooking at home had a range of dimensions, and perceptions of ‘home cooking’ tended to focus on social and emotional associations. In future, public health initiatives might, therefore, highlight the potential social and emotional benefits of ‘home cooking’, rather than emphasising implications for physical health.
... Cooking Perceptions, Attitudes, Confidence, and Behaviors Survey. The Cooking Perceptions, Attitudes, Confidence, and Behaviors Survey is a 53-item survey designed to assess three factors: perceptions of cooking, cooking confidence and attitudes, and cooking behaviors [33]. Questions regarding cooking frequency from the cooking behavior subscale were used to evaluate the number of meals cooked during the previous week. ...
Article
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Americans are cooking fewer meals at home and eating more convenience foods prepared elsewhere. Cooking at home is associated with higher quality diets, while a reduction in cooking may be associated with increases in obesity and risk factors for chronic disease. The aims of this study were to examine cooking as an intervention for weight control in overweight and obese adults, and whether such an intervention increases participants’ food agency and diet quality. Overweight and obese adults were randomized into one of two intervention conditions: active or demonstration. Both conditions received the same 24-week behavioral weight loss intervention, and bi-weekly cooking classes. The active condition prepared a weekly meal during a hands-on lesson, while the demonstration condition observed a chef prepare the same meal. The active condition lost significantly more weight at six months compared with the demonstration condition (7.3% vs. 4.5%). Both conditions saw significant improvements in food agency scores and Healthy Eating Index scores, though no significant differences were noted between groups. The addition of active cooking to a weight management intervention may improve weight loss outcomes, though benefits in diet quality and cooking behaviors may also be seen with the addition of a demonstration-only cooking intervention.
... They contribute to reduce isolation and loneliness and provide additional skills, such as training in food hygiene, supporting increased employability for the food and catering sector. 10 Community-based cooking programmes are effective in teaching cooking skills and increasing cooking confidence and knowledge of healthy eating, which results in positive changes in eating behaviours. 11 However, evidence of the impact of cooking programmes is often based on non-rigorous study designs with small sample sizes, non-validated evaluation tools, short-term outcomes and an evident lack of health-related outcomes. ...
Article
Background The immediate and sustained impacts of the Eat Better Feel Better cooking programme (EBFBCP) on food choices and eating behaviours in families and children were evaluated. Methods The EBFBCP (6 weeks, 2 hours/week) was delivered by community-based organisations in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Scotland. Before, after and at follow-up, parents/caregivers completed short pictorial questionnaires to report family/child eating behaviours and food literacy. Results In total, 83 EBFBCPs were delivered and 516 participants enrolled, of which 432 were parents and caregivers. Questionnaire completion rates were 57% (n=250) for before and after and 13% (n=58) for follow-up. Most participants (80%) were female, 25–44 years old (51%) and considered socioeconomically deprived (80%). The immediate effects of the EBFBCP on eating behaviours and food literacy were families ate less takeaway/fast foods (10% reduction, p=0.019) and ready meals (15% reduction, p=0.003) and cooked more from scratch (20% increase, p<0.001). Children’s consumption of discretionary food/drinks was significantly reduced after the EBFBCP for sugary drinks (10% reduction, p=0.012), savoury snacks (18%, p=0.012), biscuits (17%, p=0.007), sweets/chocolates (23%, p=0.002), fried/roasted potatoes (17%, p<0.001) and savoury pastries (11%, p<0.001). The number of fruit (15%, p=0.008) and vegetable portions (10%, p<0.001) increased, while the number of biscuit portions decreased (13%, p=0.005). Parental food label reading increased (calories, 22%; fat, 23%; sugar, 22%; ingredients, 19%; and portion size, 19%). Most changes were sustained at a median of 10 months’ follow-up. Conclusion The EBFBCP improved children’s and families’ food choices and behaviours. The EBFBCP can be recommended to support families to make better food choices.
... For Aim 1, we compared cooking, fruit and vegetable intake, and physical activity data to publicly available data collected before 2020 from reference groups of U.S. adults. Specifically, we used a one-sample t-test to compare the means of cooking items to those from a nationally representative sample collected in April 2015 (Wolfson et al., 2016); a one-sample t-test to compare the mean of fruit and vegetable intake to that from a recruitment-matched sample 3 collected in February 2019 (Cummings et al., 2020); and a one-sample binomial test to compare the percentage of adults who met federal physical activity guidelines (≥150 min a week of moderate-intensity physical activity) to early release physical activity estimates based on data from the nationally representative National Health Interview Survey collected in 2018 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019). We chose these reference groups because they, respectively, had completed the cooking, fruit and vegetable intake, and physical activity measures that were completed by participants in the current study and were nationally representative or recruitment-matched. ...
Article
The potential negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on health-compromising behaviors including overeating, processed food intake, and alcohol use have been well documented. However, it is possible the COVID-19 pandemic has had positive effects on some health-promoting behaviors like cooking and fruit and vegetable intake. The current study was a preregistered secondary data analysis using data from a U.S. national, crowdsourced study (n = 868) on eating behaviors during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. The objectives of the current study were to compare levels of cooking, fruit and vegetable intake, and physical activity among U.S. adults during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic to pre-pandemic levels in reference groups of U.S. adults, and test whether subjective stress from the pandemic was associated with health-promoting behaviors by obesity status. During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, participants cooked more often and ate 0.23 more cups of fruits and vegetables per day, but 28.8% fewer participants met federal physical activity guidelines. Greater COVID-19 stress was minimally to moderately associated with greater cooking, fruit and vegetable intake, and physical activity. The positive association between COVID-19 stress and fruit and vegetable intake was stronger for individuals with obesity. The COVID-19 pandemic might have encouraged U.S. adults, especially those at risk for complications, to engage in some health-promoting behaviors while creating barriers for other behaviors.
... This questionnaire is a 53item survey measuring three factors: Perceptions of Cooking, Cooking Confidence and Attitudes, and Cooking Behaviors. This survey was primarily used in the current study to assess the average frequency each week that participants cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner at home [28]. ...
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Many college students struggle to cook frequently, which has implications for their diet quality and health. Students’ ability to plan, procure, and prepare food (food agency) may be an important target for shifting the college student diet away from instant and inexpensive staples like packaged ramen. The randomized intervention study included two sequential cooking interventions: (1) six weeks of cooking classes based in food agency pedagogy held once per week, and (2) six weekly home delivered meal kits (3 meals per kit) to improve food agency, diet quality, and at home cooking frequency of college students. Based on availability and subsequent randomization, participants were assigned to one of four conditions that included active cooking classes, meal kit provision, or no intervention. Participants who took part in the cooking intervention had significant improvement in food agency immediately following the intervention period. Participants who did not participate in cooking classes and only received meal kits experienced significant, though less pronounced, improvement in food agency scores following the meal kit provision. Neither intervention improved diet quality or routinely improved cooking frequency. Active cooking classes may improve food agency of college students, though further research is needed to determine how this may translate into improved diet quality and increased cooking frequency.
Article
Declines in cooking skills in the United States may contribute to poor diet quality and high obesity rates. Little is known about how Americans learn to cook or their support for cooking education policies. The objective of this study was to examine how Americans learn to cook, attributions of responsibility for teaching children how to cook, and public support for policies to teach cooking skills. We used a concurrent, triangulation mixed-methods design that combined qualitative focus group data (from 7 focus groups in Baltimore, MD (N = 53)) with quantitative survey data from a nationally representative, web-based survey (N = 1112). We analyzed focus group data (using grounded theory) and survey data (using multivariable logistic regression). We find that relatively few Americans learn to cook from formal instruction in school or community cooking classes; rather, they primarily learn from their parents and/or by teaching themselves using cookbooks, recipe websites or by watching cooking shows on television. While almost all Americans hold parents and other family members responsible for teaching children how to cook, a broad majority of the public supports requiring cooking skills to be taught in schools either through existing health education (64%) or through dedicated home economics courses (67%). Slightly less than half of all Americans (45%) support increasing funding for cooking instruction for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Broad public support for teaching cooking skills in schools suggests that schools are one promising avenue for policy action. However, school-based strategies should be complemented with alternatives that facilitate self-learning. More research is needed to identify effective means of teaching and disseminating the key cooking skills and knowledge that support healthy eating.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of – and need for – an expanded understanding of cooking (skills and knowledge) to inform research on the connection between cooking and health. Design/methodology/approach This paper describes a concept of “food agency” and contrasts it with how cooking is commonly conceived in food and nutrition literature. A food agency-based pedagogy and proposals for using it are also introduced. Findings Cooking is a complex process that may be crucial for making a difference in the contemporary problems of diet-related chronic diseases. There are two interlinked problems with present research on cooking. First, cooking has yet to be adequately conceptualized for the design and evaluation of effective public health and nutrition interventions. The context within which food-related decisions and actions occur has been neglected. Instead, the major focus has been on discrete mechanical tasks. In particular, recipes are relied upon despite no clear evidence that recipes move people from knowledge to action. Second, given the incomplete theorization and definition of this vital everyday practice, intervention designs tend to rely on assumptions over theory. This creates certain forms of tautological reasoning when claims are made about how behavior changes. A comprehensive theory of food agency provides a nuanced understanding of daily food practices and clarifies how to teach cooking skills that are generalizable throughout varied life contexts. Originality/value This commentary is of value to academics studying cooking-related behavior and public health practitioners implementing and evaluating cooking interventions.
Article
The objective of this study was to determine cooking frequency and identify student characteristics associated with cooking frequency among students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This cross-sectional study included data from 4845 students who completed an online survey in the fall of 2016. Cooking frequency was assessed using the question “How often do you cook for yourself or for others?” with the response options being “often,” “sometimes,” and “never.” Students also self-reported information on a variety of student characteristics. Descriptive statistics were calculated and associations between cooking frequency and student characteristics were assessed using Pearson’s chi square tests, ANOVA, and multinomial logistic regression. Statistical significance was considered p<0.05. Among students in the sample, 45.7% reported often cooking, 40.3% reported sometimes cooking, and 14% reported never cooking. Characteristics significantly associated with cooking frequency in the adjusted models were race/ethnicity, year in school, living on vs. off-campus, having a car, receiving financial aid, perceived health rating, weight status, having a meal plan, food security status, and perceived cooking skills. Age, gender, marital status, having dependent children, being an international student, part-time vs. full-time enrollment, and employment status were not significantly associated with cooking frequency in adjusted models. Cooking was common among college students in this sample, although there were differences in characteristics among students who reported different frequencies of cooking.
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The frequency of cooking at home has not been assessed globally. Data from the Gallup World Poll in 2018/2019 wave (N=145,417) were collected in 142 countries using telephone and face to face interviews. We describe differences in frequency of ‘scratch’ cooking lunch and dinner across the globe by gender. Poisson regression was used to assess predictors of cooking frequency. Associations between disparities in cooking frequency (at the country level) between men and women with perceptions of subjective well-being were assessed using linear regression. Across the globe, cooking frequency varied considerably; dinner was cooked more frequently than lunch; and, women (median frequency 5 meals/week) cooked both meals more frequently than men (median frequency 0 meals/week). At the country level, greater gender disparities in cooking frequency are associated with lower Positive Experience Index scores (-0.021, p=0.009). Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the frequency with which men and women cook meals varied considerably between nations; and, women cooked more frequently than men worldwide. The pandemic, and related ‘stay at home’ directives have dramatically reshaped the world, and it will be important to monitor changes in the ways and frequency with which people around the world cook and eat; and, how those changes relate to dietary patterns and health outcomes on a national, regional and global level.
Article
The link between home cooking and health is being actively explored in both observational and experimental studies. However, research on this topic is limited by the lack of cooking behavior metrics. Most existing assessment tools focus only on cooking frequency or one's ability to complete specific a priori food preparations. Cooking is a complex and multifaceted behavior that is influenced by culture, environment, and social norms. More flexible and adaptable measurement approaches are needed to elucidate the spectrum of cooking ability in the population and, in turn, develop meaningful recommendations and interventions.
Article
Background Food preparation interventions are an increasingly popular target for hands-on nutrition education for adults, children, and families, but assessment tools are lacking. Objective data on home cooking practices, and how they are interpreted through different data collection methods, are needed. Objective The goal of this study was to explore the utility of the Healthy Cooking Index in coding multiple types of home food preparation data and elucidating healthy cooking behavior patterns. Design Parent–child dyads were recruited between October 2017 and June 2018 in Houston and Austin, Texas for this observational study. Food preparation events were observed and video recorded. Participants also wore a body camera (eButton) and completed a questionnaire during the same event. Participants/setting Parents with a school-aged child were recruited as dyads (n=40). Data collection procedures took place in participant homes during evening meal preparation events. Main outcome measures Food preparation data were collected from parents through direct observation during preparation as well as eButton and paper questionnaires completed immediately after the event. Statistical analyses performed All data sets were analyzed using the Healthy Cooking Index coding system and compared for concordance. A paired sample t test was used to examine significant differences between the scores. Cronbach’s α and principal components analysis were conducted on the observed Healthy Cooking Index items to examine patterns of cooking practices. Results Two main components of cooking practices emerged from the principal components analysis: one focused on meat products and another on health and taste enhancing practices. The eButton was more accurate in collecting Healthy Cooking Index practices than the self-report questionnaire. Significant differences were found between participant reported and observed summative Healthy Cooking Index scores (P<0.001), with no significant differences between scores computed from eButton images and observations (P=0.187). Conclusions This is the first study to examine nutrition optimizing home cooking practices by observational, wearable camera and self-report data collection methods. By strengthening cooking behavior assessment tools, future research will be able to elucidate the transmission of cooking education through interventions and the relationships between cooking practices, disease prevention, and health.
Article
Diet is a modifiable risk factor for several cancers and other chronic diseases. Cooking skills are a target for dietary intervention, with much of the general population reporting infrequent and inadequate home preparation of meals. Childhood cancer survivors (CCS) are a population at high risk of several chronic conditions including secondary cancers that may be influenced by home cooking behaviors. We conducted observations of food preparation practices in 29 parents of healthy school-aged children and 11 parents of CCS. Observations included an audio and video recording of one evening meal per family. Parents were asked to wear a small body camera unit (eButton) during the cooking session. Ingredient amounts were be observed and recorded during the video sessions and final prepared foods analyzed for micronutrient and macronutrient quantities. Resulting videos were coded for healthy cooking behaviors using the Healthy Cooking Score (HCS) coding system, based on a conceptual framework previously developed by the authors. Families were assigned HCS based on the video analysis. Parents filled out a healthy cooking behavior questionnaire constructed from the conceptual framework. Height and weight was assessed from children and general family demographics and parenting practices collected from parents. Observed and self-reported healthy cooking behaviors were shown to be significantly different, with nine HCS items responsible for the majority of discrepancy between self report and observed cooking behaviors. The eButton images were examined and compared to audio/video observations of the cooking sessions. The eButton closely approximated the audio/video observations, but failed to collect usable images in 5 out of 40 cases. CCS cooking habits were compared to non CCS families and showed similar cooking habits. Qualitative analysis of the CCS family cooking videos revealed four major meal planning values in the sample including health, budget, effort and preferences. Several of these values were impacted by the cancer experience. Taken together, this study provides preliminary data for the assessment and development of healthy cooking programming in CCS and the general population
Article
Background Food insecurity is a critical public health problem in the United States (US) that has been associated with poor diet quality. Cooking dinner more frequently is associated with better diet quality. Objective This study aimed to examine how food insecurity and dinner cooking frequency are associated with diet quality during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Design This cross-sectional study analyzed data from a national web-based survey (June 23- July 1, 2020). Participants /setting: Participants were 1,739 low-income (<250% of the federal poverty level) adults in the US. Main outcome measures The outcome was diet quality, measured by the Prime Diet Quality Score (PDQS-30D). The PDQS-30D is a food frequency questionnaire-based, 22-component diet quality index. Statistical analyses performed Food security status (high, marginal, low, very low) and frequency of cooking dinner (7, 5-6, 3-4 or 0-2 times/week) were evaluated in relation to PDQS-30D scores (possible range 0-126) in age- and sex and gender-, and fully-adjusted linear regression models. Post-estimation margins were used to predict mean PDQS-30D score by food security status and dinner cooking frequency. The interaction between food security status and frequency of cooking dinner was also tested. Results Overall, the mean PDQS-30D score was 51.9 ±11 points (possible range 0-126). The prevalence of food insecurity (low/very low) was 43%, 37% of the sample cooked 7 times/week and 15% cooked 0-2 times/week. Lower food security and less frequent cooking dinner were both associated with lower diet quality. Very low food security was associated with a 3.2-point lower PDQS-30D score (95%CI: -4.6, -1.8) compared to those with high food security. Cooking dinner 0-2 times/week was associated with a 4.4-point lower PDQS-30D score (95%CI: -6.0, -2.8) compared to cooking 7 times/week. The relationship between food insecurity and diet quality did not differ based on cooking dinner frequency. Conclusions During the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic food insecurity and less frequently cooking dinner at home were both associated with lower diet quality among low-income Americans. More research is needed to identify and address barriers to low-income households’ ability to access, afford and prepare enough nutritious food for a healthy diet.
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Sociologists Sarah Bowen, Sinikka Elliott, and Joslyn Brenton offer a critique of the increasingly prevalent message that reforming the food system necessarily entails a return to the kitchen. They argue that time pressures, tradeoffs to save money, and the burden of pleasing others make it difficult for mothers to enact the idealized vision of home-cooked meals advocated by foodies and public health officials.
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Poor cooking skills may be a barrier to healthy eating and a contributor to overweight and obesity. Little population-representative data on adult cooking skills has been published. We explored prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of cooking skills among adult respondents to wave 1 of the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2008-9). Socio-demographic variables of interest were sex, age group, occupational socio-economic group and whether or not respondents had the main responsibility for food in their households. Cooking skills were assessed as self-reported confidence in using eight cooking techniques, confidence in cooking ten foods, and ability to prepare four types of dish (convenience foods, a complete meal from ready-made ingredients, a main meal from basic ingredients, and cake or biscuits from basic ingredients). Frequency of preparation of main meals was also reported. Of 509 respondents, almost two-thirds reported cooking a main meal at least five times per week. Around 90 % reported being able to cook convenience foods, a complete meal from ready-made ingredient, and a main dish from basic ingredients without help. Socio-demographic differences in all markers of cooking skills were scattered and inconsistent. Where these were found, women and main food providers were most likely to report confidence with foods, techniques or dishes, and respondents in the youngest age (19-34 years) and lowest socio-economic group least likely. This is the only exploration of the prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of adult cooking skills using recent and population-representative UK data and adds to the international literature on cooking skills in developed countries. Reported confidence with using most cooking techniques and preparing most foods was high. There were few socio-demographic differences in reported cooking skills. Adult cooking skills interventions are unlikely to have a large population impact, but may have important individual effects if clearly targeted at: men, younger adults, and those in the least affluent social groups.
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Food behaviours are important in the context of health and obesity. The aim was to explore the environments and food behaviours of a sample of young people in the North East of England to further understanding of the relationship between eating behaviours and environmental context. Focus groups were conducted with four groups of young people aged 16-20 years (n = 40; 28 male, 12 female) between November 2006 and June 2007. Analysis was informed by grounded theory methods and was an iterative process of identifying themes across the transcripts. Topics explored included: their main environment, home food responsibility and cooking, food outside of the home, where food was purchased/obtained and where food was eaten and with whom. Emergent themes included: the value for money in food purchases, time convenience, the car as a means of accessing food and health perceptions. The complexities of the food environment were illustrated. This work has highlighted the importance of the home food environment and parents, and indicated the importance of factors such as time and cost in this age group's food choices. The behavioural norms around food behaviours merit further exploration for this population in transition between adolescence and adulthood. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
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To measure the prevalence of cooking dinner at home in the USA and test whether home dinner preparation habits are associated with socio-economic status, race/ethnicity, country of birth and family structure. Cross-sectional analysis. The primary outcome, self-reported frequency of cooking dinner at home, was divided into three categories: 0-1 dinners cooked per week ('never'), 2-5 ('sometimes') and 6-7 ('always'). We used bivariable and multivariable regression analyses to test for associations between frequency of cooking dinner at home and factors of interest. The 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The sample consisted of 10 149 participants. Americans reported cooking an average of five dinners per week; 8 % never, 43 % sometimes and 49 % always cooked dinner at home. Lower household wealth and educational attainment were associated with a higher likelihood of either always or never cooking dinner at home, whereas wealthier, more educated households were more likely to sometimes cook dinner at home (P < 0·05). Black households cooked the fewest dinners at home (mean = 4·4, 95 % CI 4·2, 4·6). Households with foreign-born reference persons cooked more dinners at home (mean = 5·8, 95 % CI 5·7, 6·0) than households with US-born reference persons (mean = 4·9, 95 % CI 4·7, 5·1). Households with dependants cooked more dinners at home (mean = 5·2, 95 % CI 5·1, 5·4) than households without dependants (mean = 4·6, 95 % CI 4·3, 5·0). Home dinner preparation habits varied substantially with socio-economic status and race/ethnicity, associations that likely will have implications for designing and appropriately tailoring interventions to improve home food preparation practices and promote healthy eating.
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A lack of cooking skills and reduced food preparation knowledge are significant barriers to the production of home cooked meals in the United States. The benefits and barriers to healthful eating in relationship to decreased food preparation ability are summarized in this review. In particular, home food preparation barriers, the consequences that result from eating out frequently, and the benefits of home-produced meals are presented. Strategies for preparing meals at home and specific recommendations for health care professionals are presented in this article.
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Background It has been well-documented that Americans have shifted towards eating out more and cooking at home less. However, little is known about whether these trends have continued into the 21st century, and whether these trends are consistent amongst low-income individuals, who are increasingly the target of public health programs that promote home cooking. The objective of this study is to examine how patterns of home cooking and home food consumption have changed from 1965 to 2008 by socio-demographic groups. Methods This is a cross-sectional analysis of data from 6 nationally representative US dietary surveys and 6 US time-use studies conducted between 1965 and 2008. Subjects are adults aged 19 to 60 years (n= 38,565 for dietary surveys and n=55,424 for time-use surveys). Weighted means of daily energy intake by food source, proportion who cooked, and time spent cooking were analyzed for trends from 1965–1966 to 2007–2008 by gender and income. T-tests were conducted to determine statistical differences over time. Results The percentage of daily energy consumed from home food sources and time spent in food preparation decreased significantly for all socioeconomic groups between 1965–1966 and 2007–2008 (p ≤ 0.001), with the largest declines occurring between 1965 and 1992. In 2007–2008, foods from the home supply accounted for 65 to 72% of total daily energy, with 54 to 57% reporting cooking activities. The low income group showed the greatest decline in the proportion cooking, but consumed more daily energy from home sources and spent more time cooking than high income individuals in 2007–2008 (p ≤ 0.001). Conclusions US adults have decreased consumption of foods from the home supply and reduced time spent cooking since 1965, but this trend appears to have leveled off, with no substantial decrease occurring after the mid-1990’s. Across socioeconomic groups, people consume the majority of daily energy from the home food supply, yet only slightly more than half spend any time cooking on a given day. Efforts to boost the healthfulness of the US diet should focus on promoting the preparation of healthy foods at home while incorporating limits on time available for cooking.
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The horrific loss of life at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012 has prompted a national conversation about guns and mental illness in the United States.This tragedy occurred less than 6 months after 70 people were shot in a movie theater in Colorado and after highly publicized mass shootings in Arizona and at Virginia Tech. These four events share two common characteristics: all four shooters were apparently mentally ill, and all four used guns with large-capacity magazines, allowing them to fire multiple rounds of ammunition without reloading. As policymakers consider options to reduce gun violence, they . . .
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One of the many barriers to a healthier diet in low-income communities is a presumed lack of practical food skills. This article reports findings from exploratory qualitative research conducted with potential participants in a cooking skills intervention, in low income communities in Scotland. The research found widely varying levels of skill and confidence regarding cooking, supported the need for a community-based intervention approach, and demonstrated the importance of consumer research to inform the content of interventions. Challenges the view that low income communities lack skills, suggesting that food skills should be defined more broadly than “cooking from scratch”. Other barriers to healthy eating, such as poverty, food access and taste preferences, remain important.
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In Canada, there are limited occasions for youth, and especially at-risk youth, to participate in cooking programs. The paucity of these programs creates an opportunity for youth-focused cooking programs to be developed, implemented, and evaluated with the goal of providing invaluable life skills and food literacy to this potentially vulnerable group. Thus, an 18-month community-based cooking program for at-risk youth was planned and implemented to improve the development and progression of cooking skills and food literacy. This paper provides an overview of the rationale for and implementation of a cooking skills intervention for at-risk youth. The manuscript provides information about the process of planning and implementing the intervention as well as the evaluation plan. Results of the intervention will be presented elsewhere. Objectives of the intervention included the provision of applied food literacy and cooking skills education taught by local chefs and a Registered Dietitian, and augmented with fieldtrips to community farms to foster an appreciation and understanding of food, from 'gate to plate'. Eight at-risk youth (five girls and three boys, mean age = 14.6) completed the intervention as of November 2010. Pre-test cooking skills assessments were completed for all participants and post-test cooking skills assessments were completed for five of eight participants. Post intervention, five of eight participants completed in-depth interviews about their experience. The Cook It Up! program can provide an effective template for other agencies and researchers to utilize for enhancing existing programs or to create new applied cooking programs for relevant vulnerable populations. There is also a continued need for applied research in this area to reverse the erosion of cooking skills in Canadian society.
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To describe how the time spent in food-related activities by Americans has changed over the past 30 years. Data from four national time diary surveys, spanning 1975-2006, are used to construct estimates of trends in American adults' time spent in food-related activities. Multivariate Tobits assess how food-related activities have changed over time controlling for sociodemographic and economic covariates. Both bivariate and multivariate estimates reveal that between 1975 and 2006, American women's time spent in food preparation declined substantially, whereas the time spent in these activities by American men changed very little. On the contrary, grocery shopping time increased modestly for both men and women. The primary eating time (i.e. time when eating/drinking was the respondent's main focus) declined for both men and women over this historical period, and the composition of this time changed with less primary eating time being done alone. Concurrently, secondary eating time (i.e. time when something else had the respondent's primary attention, but eating/drinking simultaneously occurred) rose precipitously for both women and men between 1975 and 1998. The total time spent in eating (i.e. primary plus secondary eating time) has increased over the past 30 years, and the composition of this time has shifted from situations in which energy intake can be easily monitored to those in which energy intake may be more difficult to gauge. Less time is also being spent in food preparation and clean-up activities. Future research should explore possible links between these trends and Americans' growing obesity risk.
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This study identifies several socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of individuals who have consumed food away from home using the recent 1987-1988 National Food Consumption Survey (the individual intake portion). The analysis was performed using logit analysis. The significant characteristics are race, ethnicity, employment status, food stamp participation, seasonality, household size, age, income, and time of week of consumption. � 1992 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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The Internet has attracted considerable attention as a means to improve health and health care delivery, but it is not clear how prevalent Internet use for health care really is or what impact it has on health care utilization. Available estimates of use and impact vary widely. Without accurate estimates of use and effects, it is difficult to focus policy discussions or design appropriate policy activities. To measure the extent of Internet use for health care among a representative sample of the US population, to examine the prevalence of e-mail use for health care, and to examine the effects that Internet and e-mail use has on users' knowledge about health care matters and their use of the health care system. Survey conducted in December 2001 and January 2002 among a sample drawn from a research panel of more than 60 000 US households developed and maintained by Knowledge Networks. Responses were analyzed from 4764 individuals aged 21 years or older who were self-reported Internet users. Self-reported rates in the past year of Internet and e-mail use to obtain information related to health, contact health care professionals, and obtain prescriptions; perceived effects of Internet and e-mail use on health care use. Approximately 40% of respondents with Internet access reported using the Internet to look for advice or information about health or health care in 2001. Six percent reported using e-mail to contact a physician or other health care professional. About one third of those using the Internet for health reported that using the Internet affected a decision about health or their health care, but very few reported impacts on measurable health care utilization; 94% said that Internet use had no effect on the number of physician visits they had and 93% said it had no effect on the number of telephone contacts. Five percent or less reported use of the Internet to obtain prescriptions or purchase pharmaceutical products. Although many people use the Internet for health information, use is not as common as is sometimes reported. Effects on actual health care utilization are also less substantial than some have claimed. Discussions of the role of the Internet in health care and the development of policies that might influence this role should not presume that use of the Internet for health information is universal or that the Internet strongly influences health care utilization.
Article
Despite the importance of cooking in American life and evidence suggesting that meals cooked at home are healthier, little is known about perceptions of what it means to cook in the United States. The objective of this study was to describe perceptions of cooking and factors important to how cooking is perceived and practiced among American adults. Seven focus groups (N = 53; 39 female; 35 Black, 16 White, 2 Asian) were conducted from November 2014 to January 2015 in Baltimore City, Maryland. Participants were recruited from two neighborhoods; one with higher median income and access to healthy food and the other with lower income and low access to healthy food. Focus groups were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Participants' perceptions of cooking varied considerably, regardless of neighborhood income or food access, and spanned a continuum from all scratch cooking to anything made at home. Perceptions of cooking incorporated considerations of whether or how food was heated and the degree of time, effort and love involved if convenience foods were used. Key barriers to cooking included affordability, lack of time, and lack of enjoyment. Key facilitators of frequent cooking included extensive organization and time management to enable participants to incorporate cooking into their daily lives. Cooking is a complex concept and not uniformly understood. Efforts to encourage healthy cooking at home should consider the broad spectrum of activities Americans recognize as cooking as well as the barriers and facilitators to preparing food at home. Public health messages to encourage more frequent cooking should account for the heterogeneity in perspectives about cooking. More research should explore differences in perceptions about cooking in other diverse populations.
Article
More frequent cooking at home may help improve diet quality and be associated with food values, particularly for individuals participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). To examine patterns of fruit and vegetable consumption and food values among adults (aged 20 and older) in the United States, by SNAP participation and household cooking frequency. Analysis of cross-sectional 24-hour dietary recall data obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-2010 (N=9,560). A lower percentage of SNAP participants consumed fruit (total: 35% vs. 46%, p=0.001; fresh: 30% vs. 41%, p<0.001) and vegetables (total: 49% vs. 58%, p=0.004; fresh: 35% vs. 47%, p<0.001) than those ineligible for SNAP. Among SNAP participants, cooking > 6 times/week was associated with greater vegetable consumption compared to cooking < 2 times/week (175 grams vs. 98 grams, p=0.003). SNAP-eligible individuals who cooked ≥ 2 times/week were more to report price (medium cookers: 47% vs. 33%, p=0.001; high cookers: 52% vs. 40%, p<0.001), ease of preparation (medium cookers: 36% vs. 28%, p=0.002; high cookers: 36% vs. 24%, p<0.001) and how long food keeps (medium cookers: 57% vs. 45%, p<0.001; high cookers: 61% vs. 50%, p<0.001) as important compared to SNAP-ineligible individuals. Fruit and vegetable consumption in the United States is low regardless of cooking frequency. Efforts to improve diet quality should consider values on which food purchases are based. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Conference Paper
Introduction: Cooking is recommended as a healthy diet behavior. This research examines national patterns in cooking frequency and diet quality among adults in the USA, overall and by weight loss intention. Methods: Analysis of cross-sectional 24-hour dietary recall data (adults aged ≥20 years old) from the 2007-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (N=9,569). Diet quality measures included total calories/day, grams of fat, sugar and carbohydrates/day, fast food meals/week, and frozen and ready to eat meals consumed in the past 30 days. Multivariable regression analysis was used to test for associations between frequency of cooking dinner/week (low (0-1), medium (2-5) and high (6-7)) and these dietary outcomes. Results: In 2007-2010, 8% of adults cooked dinner 0-1 times/week and consumed, on an average day, 2301 total calories, 84 grams of fat, 135 grams of sugar. Overall, compared to low cookers (0-1 times/week), a high frequency of cooking dinner (6-7 times/week) was associated with lower consumption of daily calories, (2164 kcal vs. 2301 kcal, p=0.002), carbohydrates 262 grams vs. 284 grams, p<0.001), fat (81 grams vs. 86 grams, p=0.016), and sugar (119 grams vs. 135 grams, p<0.001). Individuals trying to lose weight consumed fewer calories than those not trying to lose weight, regardless of cooking frequency (2111 kcal vs. 2281 kcal, p<0.006). Discussion: Adults who frequently cook dinner at home consume a healthier diet regardless of weight loss intention. Strategies are needed to encourage more cooking among the general population and help infrequent cookers better navigate the food environment outside the home.
Article
Contemporary families and food systems are both becoming more dynamic and complex, and current associations between adult family meals and body mass index (BMI) are not well understood. This investigation took a new approach by examining diverse settings and sources of food for family dinners in relationship to BMI in a cross-sectional nationally representative survey of 360 US adults age 18-85 living with family members. In this sample, 89% of adults ate family dinners at least 5 days per week and almost all ate family dinners cooked and eaten at home. About half of these adults also ate family dinners at restaurants, fast food places, or ate takeout food at home, and less common were family dinners at homes of relatives or friends. Family dinners eaten at fast food places, but not other settings or sources, were significantly associated with higher BMI. Overall, adult family dinners were commonplace, usually involved home cooking, and when at fast food places may be related with higher adult body weights.
Article
There is concern over the lack of cooking skills among young people in the UK. Studies suggest that teaching young people cooking skills can help to improve dietary quality. In light of this evidence, in 2009 Cooking Communities piloted a series of multicultural after-school cooking clubs at secondary schools in Leeds, UK. These clubs aimed to develop young people's food preparation and cooking skills as well as to enhance their understanding of different cultures. Ten 1.5 h cooking clubs were delivered over a 10-week period. Each session concentrated on a recipe linked to a different cultural event, such as bread for harvest festival and honey cake to celebrate Jewish Rosh Hashanah. Pupils completed questionnaires both before and after attending the cooking clubs to assess their cooking abilities and multicultural understanding. These clubs lead to significant improvements in skills such as meal preparation and pupils' ability to cook healthy foods/meals. Pupils' cultural aware-ness increased significantly after participation in the cooking clubs. Multicultural after-school cooking clubs are an ideal way for young people to enhance not only their cooking skills but also citizenship skills and an understanding of different cultures. This model of multicultural after-school cooking clubs could be adopted by other schools and youth settings in the future to help to promote cooking skills, healthy eating, and respect across different cultural groups.
Article
The Health Reform Monitoring Survey (HRMS) was launched in 2013 as a mechanism to obtain timely information on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during the period before federal government survey data for 2013 and 2014 will be available. Based on a nationally representative, probability-based Internet panel, the HRMS provides quarterly data for approximately 7,400 nonelderly adults and 2,400 children on insurance coverage, access to health care, and health care affordability, along with special topics of relevance to current policy and program issues in each quarter. For example, HRMS data from summer 2013 show that more than 60 percent of those targeted by the health insurance exchanges struggle with understanding key health insurance concepts. This raises concerns about some people's ability to evaluate trade-offs when choosing health insurance plans. Assisting people as they attempt to enroll in health coverage will require targeted education efforts and staff to support those with low health insurance literacy.
Article
In this 3-part paper, we firstly review the interaction of time-scarcity with food-choices, specifically ready-meals, and potential health consequences from their consumption. Secondly we review declared nutrients, in relation to the standard 30% of Guideline Daily Amounts, concluding that popular ready-meals from major UK supermarkets are currently nutritionally haphazard. Thirdly, we present a simple scheme to establish standards for nutritional composition of ready-meals: unless otherwise specified, any meal (the smallest unit of nutrition) as recommended to be eaten or as offered should provide 30% +/- 10% of GDA for energy and pro rata for key nutrients (e.g. sodium, sat fat, vitamin C).
Article
Objectives: We examined the effects of messages describing consequences of childhood obesity on public attitudes about obesity prevention policy. Methods: We collected data from 2 nationally representative Internet-based surveys. First, respondents (n = 444) evaluated the strength of 11 messages about obesity's consequences as reasons for government action. Second, we randomly assigned respondents (n = 2494) to a control group or to treatment groups shown messages about obesity consequences. We compared groups' attitudes toward obesity prevention, stratified by political ideology. Results: Respondents perceived a message about the health consequences of childhood obesity as the strongest rationale for government action; messages about military readiness, bullying, and health care costs were rated particularly strong by conservatives, moderates, and liberals, respectively. A message identifying the consequences of obesity on military readiness increased conservatives' perceptions of seriousness, endorsement of responsibility beyond the individual, and policy support, compared with a control condition. Conclusions: The public considers several consequences of childhood obesity as strong justification for obesity prevention policy. Activating new or unexpected values in framing a health message could raise the health issue's salience for particular subgroups of the public.
Article
OBJECTIVES: To modify the Canadian Diabetes Association Pacific Area's Cooking For Your Life! program for youth with type 2 diabetes and their families, and to evaluate program satisfaction. METHODS: Cooking For Your Life! is a community-based cooking and nutrition education program initially developed by the Canadian Diabetes Association for adults with type 2 diabetes. It has been well attended and resulted in excellent program satisfaction. Several methods were used to guide and evaluate modifications to the adult Cooking For Your Life! program for youth. These included review and recommendations from a steering committee, focus groups and a series of pilot classes evaluated via the collection of quantitative and qualitative data. Attendance was tracked at each class, and each participant answered a satisfaction questionnaire. RESULTS: The modified program consists of 3 interactive, hands-on cooking classes and a Shop Smart tour co-facilitated by a dietitian and cook. A total of 36 people participated in the pilot program, including 15 adolescents and 21 of their family members. The majority of participants were satisfied with the course, enjoyed the recipes and expressed interest in taking a second set of classes. CONCLUSIONS: These pilot results suggest that both youth and their families were satisfied with and committed to attending this community-based education program.
Article
A cooking skill scale was developed to measure cooking skills in a European adult population, and the relationship between cooking skills and the frequency of consumption of various food groups were examined. Moreover, it was determined which sociodemographic and psychological variables predict cooking skills. The data used in the present study are based on the first (2010) and second (2011) surveys of a yearly paper-and-pencil questionnaire (Swiss Food Panel). Data from 4436 participants (47.2% males) with a mean age of 55.5years (SD=14.6, range 21-99) were available for analysis. The cooking skills scale was validated using a test-retest analysis, confirming that this new scale is a reliable and consistent instrument. Cooking enjoyment was the most important predictor for cooking skills, especially for men. Women had higher cooking skills in all age groups. Cooking skills correlated positively with weekly vegetable consumption, but negatively with weekly convenience food consumption frequency, even while holding the effect of health consciousness related to eating constant. In summary, cooking skills may help people to meet nutrition guidelines in their daily nutrition supply. They allow people to make healthier food choices. It is, therefore, important to teach children and teenagers how to cook and to encourage them to develop their cooking skills.
Article
Objective: To examine the effect of fast-food and full-service restaurant consumption on total energy intake, dietary indicators, and beverage consumption. Design: Individual-level fixed-effects estimation based on 2 nonconsecutive 24-hour dietary recalls. Setting: Nationally representative data from the 2003-2004, 2005-2006, and 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants: Children aged 2 to 11 years (n = 4717) and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years (n = 4699). Main outcome measures: Daily total energy intake in kilocalories; intake of grams of sugar, total fat, saturated fat, and protein and milligrams of sodium; and total grams of sugar-sweetened beverages, regular soda, and milk consumed. Results: Fast-food and full-service restaurant consumption, respectively, was associated with a net increase in daily total energy intake of 126.29 kcal and 160.49 kcal for children and 309.53 kcal and 267.30 kcal for adolescents and with higher intake of regular soda (73.77 g and 88.28 g for children and 163.67 g and 107.25 g for adolescents) and sugar-sweetened beverages generally. Fast-food consumption increased intake of total fat (7.03-14.36 g), saturated fat (1.99-4.64 g), and sugar (5.71-16.24 g) for both age groups and sodium (396.28 mg) and protein (7.94 g) for adolescents. Full-service restaurant consumption was associated with increases in all nutrients examined. Additional key findings were (1) adverse effects on diet were larger for lower-income children and adolescents and (2) among adolescents, increased soda intake was twice as large when fast food was consumed away from home than at home. Conclusion: Fast-food and full-service restaurant consumption is associated with higher net total energy intake and poorer diet quality.
Article
The Cooking with a Chef a culinary nutrition education series teams a chef and nutrition educator during cooking sessions with parents. Pilot program results were shared in the Journal of Extension in 2006. This formative evaluation presents data collected through focus groups and individual interviews examining program implementation, participant impressions, and program objectives during four subsequent program trials. Findings indicate high level of potential for the program building self-efficacy and change within home environment, thus increasing participant motivation to cook. Lessons learned contribute to refinement of the program, and quantitative data is forthcoming as pilot testing continues with ongoing groups.
Article
Approximately 16% of children and adolescents’ total caloric intakes came from added sugars. Boys consumed more added sugars than girls. Preschool-aged children consumed the fewest calories from added sugars. Although girls consumed a smaller absolute amount of calories from added sugars than boys, their intakes were not that different from boys when the amounts are expressed as a percentage of total caloric intakes. Non-Hispanic white children and adolescents consumed a larger percentage of their calories from added sugars than Mexican-American children and adolescents. Also, Non-Hispanic black girls consumed a larger percentage of their calories from added sugars than Mexican-American girls. There was very little difference in added sugar consumption based on PIR. More of the added sugars calories came from foods as opposed to beverages. Previous research has demonstrated that sodas are the single leading food source of added sugars intakes among children, adolescents, and adults (2,4). Our results showed a little more than 40% of calories from added sugars came from beverages. Poti and Popkin (5) have suggested that eating location impacts daily energy intake in children and adolescents and that foods prepared away from home, are contributing to their increased total energy intake. Our results showed that more of the added sugars calories were consumed at home rather than away from home. A substantial percentage of calories in the diets of children and adolescents between 2005 and 2008 came from added sugars. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines "reducing the consumption of these sources of added sugars will lower the caloric content of the diet, without compromising its nutrient adequacy (3)." This strategy could play an important role in reducing the high prevalence of obesity in the United States (6) without compromising adequate nutrition.
Article
Little is known about the influence of location of food consumption and preparation upon daily energy intake of children. To examine trends in daily energy intake by children for foods eaten at home or away from home, by source of preparation, and for combined categories of eating location and food source. The analysis uses data from 29,217 children aged 2 to 18 years from the 1977-1978 Nationwide Food Consumption Survey, 1989-1991 and 1994-1998 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals, and 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Nationally representative weighted percentages and means of daily energy intake by eating location were analyzed for trends from 1977 to 2006. Comparisons by food source were examined from 1994 to 2006. Analyses were repeated for three age groups: 2 to 6 years, 7 to 12 years, and 13 to 18 years. Difference testing was conducted using a t test. Increased energy intake (+179 kcal/day) by children from 1977-2006 was associated with a major increase in energy eaten away from home (+255 kcal/day). The percentage of daily energy eaten away from home increased from 23.4% to 33.9% from 1977-2006. No further increase was observed from 1994-2006, but the sources of energy shifted. The percentage of energy from fast food increased to surpass intake from schools and become the largest contributor to foods prepared away from home for all age groups. For foods eaten away from home, the percentage of daily energy from stores increased to become the largest source of energy eaten away from home. Fast food eaten at home and store-bought food eaten away from home increased significantly. Eating location and food source significantly influence daily energy intake for children. Foods prepared away from home, including fast food eaten at home and store-prepared food eaten away from home, are fueling the increase in total energy intake. However, further research using alternative data sources is necessary to verify that store-bought foods eaten away from home are increasingly store-prepared.
Article
Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) has been linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes. We examined national trends in SSB consumption among US adults by sociodemographic characteristics, body weight status, and weight-loss intention. We analyzed 24-h dietary recall data to estimate beverage consumption among adults (aged > or = 20 y) obtained from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III, 1988-1994; n = 15,979) and NHANES 1999-2004 (n = 13,431). From 1988-1994 to 1999-2004 on the survey day, the percentage of adult SSB drinkers increased from 58% to 63% (P < 0.001), per capita consumption of SSB increased by 46 kcal/d (P = 0.001), and daily SSB consumption among drinkers increased by 6 oz (P < 0.001). In both survey periods, per capita SSB consumption was highest among young adults (231-289 kcal/d) and lowest among the elderly (68-83 kcal/d). Young blacks had the highest percentage of SSB drinkers and the highest per capita consumption compared with white and Mexican American adults (P < 0.05). Overweight-obese adults with weight-loss intention (compared with those without) were significantly less likely to drink SSB, but they still consumed a considerable amount in 1999-2004 (278 kcal/d). Among young adults, 20% of SSB calories were consumed at work. Over the past decade, US adult SSB consumption has increased. SSB comprises a considerable source of total daily intake and is the largest source of beverage calories. SSB consumption is highest among subgroups also at greatest risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Article
To examine demographic, behavioral and dietary correlates of frequency of fast food restaurant use in a community-based sample of 4746 adolescent students. A survey was administered to students in classrooms at 31 secondary schools in a large metropolitan area in Minnesota, United States. Height and body weight were measured. Students in grades 7-12 who were enrolled in participating schools, had parental consent and were in attendance on the day of data collection. Frequency of fast food restaurant use (FFFRU), dietary intake, and demographic and behavioral measures were self-reported. Dietary intake was assessed using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Height and body weight were directly measured. FFFRU was positively associated with intake of total energy, percent energy from fat, daily servings of soft drinks, cheeseburgers, french fries and pizza, and was inversely associated with daily servings of fruit, vegetables and milk. FFFRU was positively associated with student employment, television viewing, home availability of unhealthy foods, and perceived barriers to healthy eating, and was inversely associated with students' own and perceived maternal and peer concerns about healthy eating. FFFRU was not associated with overweight status. FFFRU is associated with higher energy and fat intake among adolescents. Interventions to reduce reliance on fast food restaurants may need to address perceived importance of healthy eating as well as time and convenience barriers.
Article
The highest rates of obesity in the United States occur among population groups with the highest poverty rates and the least education. The impact of socioeconomic variables on obesity may be mediated, in part, by the low cost of energy-dense foods. The observed inverse relationship between energy density of foods, defined as available energy per unit weight (kilocalories per gram or megajoules per kilogram), and energy cost (dollars per kilocalorie or dollars per megajoule) means that diets based on refined grains, added sugars, and added fats are more affordable than the recommended diets based on lean meats, fish, fresh vegetables, and fruit. Taste and convenience of added sugars and added fats can also skew food choices in the direction of prepared and prepackaged foods. Paradoxically, attempting to reduce diet costs may lead to the selection of energy-dense foods, increased energy intakes, and overweight. The present energy-cost framework provides an economic explanation for the observed links between obesity and the food environment, with diet cost as the principal intervening variable. If higher food costs represent both a real and perceived barrier to dietary change, especially for lower-income families, then the ability to adopt healthier diets may have less to do with psychosocial factors, self-efficacy, or readiness to change than with household economic resources and the food environment. Continuing to recommend costly diets to low-income families as a public health measure can only generate frustration and culpability among the poor and less-well educated. Obesity in America is, to a large extent, an economic issue.
Article
To determine if cooking classes improve subjects' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors toward cooking. Comparison of outcomes of 2 treatment groups (demonstration vs hands-on cooking classes) using pre- and posttests. University cooking laboratories. First-semester sophomores (n = 65) who were 25% male with a mean age of 19.7 years. The intervention group (n = 33) attended 4 2-hour cooking classes, based on Social Learning Theory, and a supermarket tour. The demonstration group (n = 32) attended a cooking demonstration. Subjects completed 6 surveys. Changes in attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors regarding cooking. Descriptive statistics were used to compare demographic variables. Analysis of covariance and chi-square analyses were used to compare outcome variables. Analysis revealed no gender differences. Participants displayed positive shifts on attitude scales. The intervention group had a pattern of larger positive shifts (0.4-0.7 vs 0.1-0.5 gain), some of which were statistically significant. Participants displayed positive, but not statistically significant, shifts in knowledge and some behaviors. The intervention group experienced more statistically significant gains in attitudes and appeared to have a better pattern of gains in cooking-related knowledge and behaviors. Given limited resources, demonstration cooking classes could reach larger audiences in varied settings, but the impact would likely be weaker than that of cooking classes.
Article
Cookin' Up Health is a culturally targeted and individualized tailored nutrition intervention using a computer-based interactive format. Using a cooking show theme, the program demonstrates step-by-step meal preparation emphasizing healthy selection and portion control. Focus groups were conducted with women in two rural counties in West Virginia to guide the development of the intervention. Women felt more susceptible to heart disease because the changing role of women creates more stress and less time; weight loss was a greater motivator for dietary change than was preventing heart disease; social support is a barrier and facilitator for dietary change; cultural heritage and the way women were raised were major barriers to making health changes as adults; convenience and the cost of eating healthier were major factors when trying to make changes in diet; and women did not feel confident in their ability to maintain dietary changes.
Article
Time scarcity, the feeling of not having enough time, has been implicated in changes in food consumption patterns such as a decrease in food preparation at home, an increase in the consumption of fast foods, a decrease in family meals, and an increase in the consumption of convenience or ready-prepared foods. These food choices are associated with less healthful diets and may contribute to obesity and chronic health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. In spite of the potential importance for health, there has been little study of how time scarcity influences people's food choices. This paper presents an overview of time issues related to food choices and discuss applications of time research for nutrition and health researchers, policy makers, and practitioners interested in food choice.
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