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. 2018 May;50(5):494-500.
doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2018.01.021. Epub 2018 Mar 7.

Self-Perceived Cooking Skills in Emerging Adulthood Predict Better Dietary Behaviors and Intake 10 Years Later: A Longitudinal Study

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Free PMC article

Self-Perceived Cooking Skills in Emerging Adulthood Predict Better Dietary Behaviors and Intake 10 Years Later: A Longitudinal Study

Jennifer Utter et al. J Nutr Educ Behav. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Objective: To determine whether perceived cooking skills in emerging adulthood predicts better nutrition a decade later.

Methods: Data were collected as part of the Project Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults longitudinal study. Participants reported on adequacy of cooking skills in 2002-2003 (age 18-23 years) and subsequently reported on nutrition-related outcomes in 2015-2016 (age 30-35 years) (n = 1,158). Separate regression models were used to examine associations between cooking skills at age 18-23 years and each subsequent outcome.

Results: One fourth of participants described their cooking skills as very adequate at 18-23 years, with no statistically significant differences by sociodemographic characteristics. Reports of very adequate cooking skills at age 18-23 years predicted better nutrition-related outcomes 10 years later, such as more frequent preparation of meals including vegetables (P < .001) and less frequent fast food consumption (P < .001).

Conclusions and implications: Developing adequate cooking skills by emerging adulthood may have long-term benefits for nutrition over a decade later. Ongoing and new interventions to enhance cooking skills during adolescence and emerging adulthood are warranted but require strong evaluation designs that observe young people over a number of years.

Keywords: cooking; eating; longitudinal; nutrition.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest Disclosure: The authors have not stated any conflicts of interest.

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