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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Jul 24;57(11):2412-2431. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2015.1072495.

Domestic cooking and food skills: A review.

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a Institute for Global Food Security, School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University Belfast , Belfast , UK.
b Department of Sociology , School of Arts and Social Sciences, City University London , London , UK.
c Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre, School of Psychology, University of Surrey , Guilford , Surrey , UK.
d UK Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management , Ulster Business School, Ulster University , Coleraine , UK.
e Department of Home Economics , St. Angela's College , Sligo , Ireland.


Domestic cooking skills (CS) and food skills (FS) encompass multiple components, yet there is a lack of consensus on their constituent parts, inter-relatedness, or measurement, leading to limited empirical support for their role in influencing dietary quality. This review assessed the measurement of CS and FS in adults (>16 years); critically examining study designs, psychometric properties of measures, theoretical basis, and associations of CS/FS with diet. Electronic databases (PsychInfo), published reports, and systematic reviews on cooking and home food preparation interventions provided 834 articles of which 26 met the inclusion criteria. Multiple CS/FS measures were identified across three study designs-qualitative, cross-sectional, and dietary interventions-conducted from 1998 to 2013. Most measures were not theory-based, limited psychometric data were available, with little consistency of items or scales used for CS/FS measurements. Some positive associations between CS/FS and fruit and vegetables intake were reported, though lasting dietary changes were uncommon. The role of psycho-social (e.g., gender, attitudes) and external factors (e.g., food availability) on CS/FS is discussed. A conceptual framework of CS/FS components is presented for future measurement facilitation, which highlights the role for CS/FS on food-related behavior and dietary quality. This will aid future dietary intervention design.


Cooking; diet; food; food literacy; measurement; scale; skills

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