Diet quality is more strongly related to food skills rather than cooking skills confidence: Results from a national cross‐sectional survey

Fiona Lavelle, Tamara Bucher, Moira Dean, Hannah M Brown, Megan Rollo, Clare E. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Aim: While diet quality has declined globally, the promotion of cooking skills as a potential target to counter the decline has been proposed. The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between food and cooking skills and diet quality in Australian adults. Methods: A sample of 910 Australian adults completed an online cross-sectional survey to evaluate their level of cooking and food skills confidence, food related psychological variables, diet quality using the Australian Recommended Food Score (ARFS) and sociodemographic characteristics. Analysis of variance with post hoc analysis, Pearson's correlations and hierarchical multiple regressions were conducted using IBM SPSS V25, with statistical significance set at P < .05. Results: Older respondents and females reported higher levels of both cooking and food skills confidence compared to younger and male participants, all P < .001. Cooking and food skills confidence scores were highly correlated (r = .70, P < .001), but weakly correlated with ARFS (r = .22, P < .001; r = .31, P < .001, respectively). Participants with higher diet quality scores had greater cooking and food skills confidence and they consumed less takeaway food (P < .001 and P = .006, respectively). Sixteen percent of the variance in ARFS was accounted for, with age, sex, food creativity and food skills confidence contributing the most variability. Conclusions: Strategies to improve food skills confidence could potentially enhance diet quality and variety to a greater degree than focusing on cooking skills alone. However, development of both skills sets should be encouraged within education programs and targeted to differing aspects of diet quality. Tailoring interventions to specific population groups with low confidence in their skills, including younger adults and males, may facilitate individuals in making healthy food choices.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNutrition & Dietetics Journal
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2019

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