Identification of behavior change techniques applied in interventions to improve cooking skills and food skills among adults

Lynsey Hollywood, Dawn Surgenor, Marla Reicks, Laura McGowan, Fiona Lavelle, Michelle Spence, Monique Raats, Amanda McCloat, Elaine Mooney, Martin Caraher, Moira Dean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
923 Downloads (Pure)


Cooking and food skills interventions have grown in popularity; however, there is a lack oftransparency as to how these interventions were designed, highlighting a need to identify andunderstand the mechanisms of behavior change so that effective components may be introduced infuture work. This study critiques cooking and food skills interventions in relation to their design, behaviorchange techniques (BCTs), theoretical underpinnings, and outcomes.

A 40-item CALO-RE taxonomy was used to examine the components of 59 cooking and foodskills interventions identified by two systematic reviews. Studies were coded by three independent coders.

The three most frequently occurring BCTs identified were #1 Provide information on consequencesof behavior in general; #21 Provide instruction on how to perform the behavior; and #26 Prompt Practice.Fifty-six interventions reported positive short-term outcomes. Only 14 interventions reported long-termoutcomes containing BCTs relating to information provision.

This study reviewed cooking and food skills interventions highlighting the most commonlyused BCTs, and those associated with long-term positive outcomes for cooking skills and diet. This studyindicates the potential for using the BCT CALO-RE taxonomy to inform the design, planning, delivery andevaluation of future interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Early online date05 Jul 2017
Publication statusEarly online date - 05 Jul 2017


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