Feasibility Pilot Study of a Teaching Kitchen and Self-Care Curriculum in a Workplace Setting

Am J Lifestyle Med. 2017 May 23;13(3):319-330. doi: 10.1177/1559827617709757. eCollection 2019 May-Jun.


Objective. To examine the feasibility of a prototype Teaching Kitchen (TK) self-care intervention that offers the combination of culinary, nutrition, exercise, and mindfulness instruction with health coaching; and to describe research methods whereby the impact of TK models can be scientifically assessed. Design. Feasibility pilot study. Subjects were recruited, screened, and consented to participate in 14- or 16-week programs. Feasibility was assessed through ease of recruitment and attendance. One-sample t tests and generalized estimating equation models were used to compare differences in groups. Setting. Workplace. Subjects. Two cohorts of 20 employees and their partners. Results. All 40 participants completed the program with high attendance (89%) and response rates on repeated assessments. Multiple changes were observed in biomarkers and self-reported behaviors from baseline to postprogram including significant ( P < .05) decreases from baseline to postprogram in body weight (-2.8 kg), waist circumference (-2.2 in.), systolic and diastolic blood pressure (-7.7 and -6.3 mm Hg, respectively), and total cholesterol (-7.5 mg/dL). While changes in all of the aforementioned biomarkers persisted over the 12-month follow-up (n = 32), only changes in waist circumference and diastolic blood pressure remained statistically different at 12 months. Conclusions. These study findings suggest that a TK curriculum is feasible within a workplace setting and that its impact on relevant behavioral and clinical outcomes can be scientifically assessed.

Keywords: culinary instruction; exercise; health coaching; mindfulness; nutrition education; optimizing behavioral change.