Diet Quality Linked to Frequency of Home-cooking
Technology Networks 1/17/20
The study highlights the importance of promoting meal preparation and cooking at home as key strategies for improving eating habits across the United States, said Julia Wolfson, assistant professor of health management and policy at the U-M School of Public Health and lead author of the study.
“However, the fact that we see a much stronger association between cooking and better diet quality among higher income groups speaks to the fact that, of course, it matters what you cook if you want to eat healthy.”
For their study, Wolfson and colleagues used the Healthy Eating Index—a measure of diet quality used to assess how well foods align with recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans—and data collected from the 2007 to 2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
The study looked at 8,668 adults aged 20 years or older with complete and reliable data from two 24-hour dietary recalls. The Healthy Eating Index score ranged from 0 to 100, with 100 being the best, and high scores indicating better diet quality. The score is based on 13 component parts measuring both adequacy and moderation food groups.
Of the participants, 13% lived in households where someone cooked dinner 0-2 times per week, 21% lived in households where someone cooked dinner 3-4 times per week, 31% lived in households where someone cooked dinner 5-6 times per week and 36% lived in households where someone cooked dinner 7+ times per week.
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