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Research Project: Preventing the Development of Childhood Obesity

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Patterns of home cooking practices among participants in a behavioral weight loss program: A latent class analysis

Author
item RABER, MARGARET - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item ROBERTSON, MICHAEL - University Of Texas Medical Branch
item LE, THUAN - Md Anderson Cancer Center
item GATUS, LETICIA - Md Anderson Cancer Center
item RECHIS, RUTH - Md Anderson Cancer Center
item OESTMAN, KATHERINE - Md Anderson Cancer Center
item BASEN-ENGQUIST, KAREN - Md Anderson Cancer Center

Submitted to: Appetite
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/21/2023
Publication Date: 2/23/2023
Citation: Raber, M., Robertson, M.C., Le, T., Gatus, L.A., Rechis, R., Oestman, K., Basen-Engquist, K. 2023. Patterns of home cooking practices among participants in a behavioral weight loss program: A latent class analysis. Appetite. 184. Article 106504. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2023.106504.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2023.106504

Interpretive Summary: Obesity is a serious public health issue, with 42% of adults in the US having overweight or obesity. There is growing evidence supporting the association between home cooking and diet quality, but the relationship between cooking behaviors, diet and weight loss are not well understood. The goal of this study was to identify patterns of cooking practices and their implications on weight loss. We analyzed data from 249 adults with overweight/obesity who were participating in a lifestyle weight loss program. In addition to self-reported demographics such as height, weight, diet and physical activity behaviors, participants also completed a survey about cooking behaviors that was used to generate Healthy Cooking Index (HCI) scores, a measure of cooking practices with the potential to influence health. The findings of this study showed a small but significant association between HCI scores and weight loss among adults with overweight/obesity participating in the weight loss program.

Technical Abstract: Cooking education is a popular approach to health promotion; however, the relationship between specific cooking practices, diet and weight loss is not well understood. The goal of this study was to 1) evaluate the relationship between cooking practices, dietary behaviors, and weight loss after a weight loss intervention and 2) identify patterns of cooking practices and their implications on weight loss. Using a quasi-experimental, single-arm cohort study design, we analyzed data from 249 adults with overweight/obesity who were participating in a weight loss program. Participants self-reported demographics, height and weight, and diet and physical activity behaviors. The Health Cooking Questionnaire 2 (HCQ2) was used to collect information on cooking practices post intervention. The HCQ2 responses were used to generate Healthy Cooking Index (HCI) scores, a summative measure of cooking practices with the potential to influence health. Latent Class Analysis (LCA) was utilized to define distinct patterns of cooking behaviors. Cooking patterns and HCI scores were examined relative to participant demographics, dietary behaviors, and weight loss. HCI scores post-intervention were positively associated with age, weight loss, and favorable dietary behaviors in this study. The LCA revealed three distinct patterns of cooking behavior (Red Meat Simple, Vegetarian Simple, Health & Taste Enhancing). The Red Meat Simple cooking pattern was associated with less weight loss compared to other patterns. The findings of this study set the foundation for more research on cooking education as a method for improving weight loss outcomes in the context of behavioral interventions.