Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Access
  • Cited by 11
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Adams, Jean and White, Martin 2015. Prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of time spent cooking by adults in the 2005 UK Time Use Survey. Cross-sectional analysis. Appetite, Vol. 92, p. 185.

    Santos, I. Sniehotta, F. F. Marques, M. M. Carraça, E. V. and Teixeira, P. J. 2016. Prevalence of personal weight control attempts in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews,

    Holmberg, C 2016. If You can't beat It–Use It: why and how clinicians need to consider social media in the treatment of adolescents with obesity. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 70, Issue. 9, p. 977.

    Wolfson, Julia A. Bleich, Sara N. Smith, Katherine Clegg and Frattaroli, Shannon 2016. What does cooking mean to you?: Perceptions of cooking and factors related to cooking behavior. Appetite, Vol. 97, p. 146.

    Quader, Zerleen S Patel, Sheena Gillespie, Cathleen Cogswell, Mary E Gunn, Janelle P Perrine, Cria G Mattes, Richard D and Moshfegh, Alanna 2016. Trends and determinants of discretionary salt use: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003–2012. Public Health Nutrition, Vol. 19, Issue. 12, p. 2195.

    Allirot, Xavier da Quinta, Noelia Chokupermal, Krithika and Urdaneta, Elena 2016. Involving children in cooking activities: A potential strategy for directing food choices toward novel foods containing vegetables. Appetite, Vol. 103, p. 275.

    Seguin, Rebecca A. Aggarwal, Anju Vermeylen, Francoise and Drewnowski, Adam 2016. Consumption Frequency of Foods Away from Home Linked with Higher Body Mass Index and Lower Fruit and Vegetable Intake among Adults: A Cross-Sectional Study. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, Vol. 2016, p. 1.

    Adams, Jean and White, Martin 2015. Characterisation of UK diets according to degree of food processing and associations with socio-demographics and obesity: cross-sectional analysis of UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2008–12). International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, Vol. 12, Issue. 1,

    Lee, Kyung Won Song, Won O. and Cho, Mi Sook 2016. Dietary quality differs by consumption of meals prepared at home vs. outside in Korean adults. Nutrition Research and Practice, Vol. 10, Issue. 3, p. 294.

    Lavelle, Fiona McGowan, Laura Spence, Michelle Caraher, Martin Raats, Monique M. Hollywood, Lynsey McDowell, Dawn McCloat, Amanda Mooney, Elaine and Dean, Moira 2016. Barriers and facilitators to cooking from ‘scratch’ using basic or raw ingredients: A qualitative interview study. Appetite, Vol. 107, p. 383.

    Wolfson, Julia A Smith, Katherine Clegg Frattaroli, Shannon and Bleich, Sara N 2016. Public perceptions of cooking and the implications for cooking behaviour in the USA. Public Health Nutrition, Vol. 19, Issue. 09, p. 1606.


Is cooking at home associated with better diet quality or weight-loss intention?

  • Julia A Wolfson (a1) and Sara N Bleich (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 17 November 2014

To examine national patterns in cooking frequency and diet quality among adults in the USA, overall and by weight-loss intention.


Analysis of cross-sectional 24 h dietary recall and interview data. Diet quality measures included total kilojoules per day, grams of fat, sugar and carbohydrates per day, fast-food meals per week, and frozen/pizza and ready-to-eat meals consumed in the past 30 d. Multivariable regression analysis was used to test associations between frequency of cooking dinner per week (low (0–1), medium (2–5) and high (6–7)), dietary outcomes and weight-loss intention.


The 2007–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.


Adults aged 20 years and over (n 9569).


In 2007–2010, 8 % of adults lived in households in which someone cooked dinner 0–1 times/week and consumed, on an average day, 9627 total kilojoules, 86 g fat and 135 g sugar. Overall, compared with low cookers (0–1 times/week), a high frequency of cooking dinner (6–7 times/week) was associated with lower consumption of daily kilojoules (9054 v. 9627 kJ, P=0·002), fat (81 v. 86 g, P=0·016) and sugar (119 v. 135 g, P<0·001). Individuals trying to lose weight consumed fewer kilojoules than those not trying to lose weight, regardless of household cooking frequency (2111 v. 2281 kJ/d, P<0·006).


Cooking dinner frequently at home is associated with consumption of a healthier diet whether or not one is trying to lose weight. Strategies are needed to encourage more cooking among the general population and help infrequent cookers better navigate the food environment outside the home.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Is cooking at home associated with better diet quality or weight-loss intention?
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Is cooking at home associated with better diet quality or weight-loss intention?
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Is cooking at home associated with better diet quality or weight-loss intention?
      Available formats
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1.Q Shao & KV Chin (2011) Survey of American food trends and the growing obesity epidemic. Nutr Res Pract 5, 253259.

2.S McGuire (2011) Todd, J.E., Mancino, L., Lin, B.-H. The impact of food away from home on adult diet quality. ERR-90, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Econ. Res. Serv., February 2010. Adv Nutr 2, 442443.

3.GX Ayala , M Rogers , EM Arredondo et al. (2008) Away-from-home food intake and risk for obesity: examining the influence of context. Obesity (Silver Spring) 16, 10021008.

4.LM Powell , BT Nguyen & E Han (2012) Energy intake from restaurants: demographics and socioeconomics, 2003–2008. Am J Prev Med 43, 498504.

5.A Drewnowski & CD Rehm (2013) Energy intakes of US children and adults by food purchase location and by specific food source. Nutr J 12, 59.

6.KM Flegal , MD Carroll , CL Ogden et al. (2010) Prevalence and trends in obesity among US adults, 1999–2008. JAMA 303, 235241.

7.DA Cohen & R Bhatia (2012) Nutrition standards for away-from-home foods in the USA. Obes Rev 13, 618629.

8.J Jabs & CM Devine (2006) Time scarcity and food choices: an overview. Appetite 47, 196204.

9.LP Smith , SW Ng & BM Popkin (2013) Trends in US home food preparation and consumption: analysis of national nutrition surveys and time use studies from 1965–1966 to 2007–2008. Nutr J 12, 45.

11.JM Kolodinsky & AB Goldstein (2011) Time use and food pattern influences on obesity. Obesity (Silver Spring) 19, 23272335.

13.M Stead , M Caraher , W Wrieden et al. (2004) Confident, fearful and hopeless cooks: findings from the development of a food-skills initiative. Br Food J 106, 274287.

14.J Cawley & F Liu (2012) Maternal employment and childhood obesity: a search for mechanisms in time use data. Econ Hum Biol 10, 352364.

15.CM Devine , TJ Farrell , CE Blake et al. (2009) Work conditions and the food choice coping strategies of employed parents. J Nutr Educ Behav 41, 365370.

17.R Engler-Stringer (2010) Food, cooking skills, and health: a literature review. Can J Diet Pract Res 71, 141145.

18.CD Zick , RB Stevens & WK Bryant (2011) Time use choices and healthy body weight: a multivariate analysis of data from the American Time Use Survey. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 8, 84.

20.EC Weiss , DA Galuska , LK Khan et al. (2006) Weight-control practices among US adults, 2001–2002. Am J Prev Med 31, 1824.

22.FM Sacks , GA Bray , VJ Carey et al. (2009) Comparison of weight-loss diets with different compositions of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. New Engl J Med 360, 859873.

23.M Nestle (2010) Strategies to prevent childhood obesity must extend beyond school environments. Am J Prev Med 39, 280281.

31.L Cunningham-Sabo & A Simons (2012) Home economics: an old-fashioned answer to a modern-day dilemma? Nutr Today 47, 128132.

32.AH Lichtenstein & DS Ludwig (2010) Bring back home economics education. JAMA 303, 18571858.

33.T Peregrin (2010) Home economics makes a comeback: opportunities for RDs to become part of the curriculum. J Am Diet Assoc 110, 1626, 16281629.

35.M Caraher , A Seeley , M Wu et al. (2013) When chefs adopt a school? An evaluation of a cooking intervention in English primary schools. Appetite 62, 5059.

36.J Levy & G Auld (2004) Cooking classes outperform cooking demonstrations for college sophomores. J Nutr Educ Behav 36, 197203.

37.M Caraher , P Dixon , T Lang et al. (1999) The state of cooking in England: the relationship of cooking skills to food choices. Br Food J 101, 590607.

38.NI Larson , CL Perry , M Story et al. (2006) Food preparation by young adults is associated with better diet quality. J Am Diet Assoc 106, 20012007.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Type Description Title
Supplementary Materials

Wolfson and Bleich Supplementary Material
Tables S1-S2

 Unknown (76 KB)
76 KB