Impact of a Pilot Intervention to Improve Nutrition Knowledge and Cooking Confidence Among Low-Income Individuals

  •  Stacey Driver    
  •  Carol Friesen    


Poor dietary behaviors, limited food preparation skills, and low levels of self-efficacy toward preparing healthy meals have been indicated in low-income and food insecure populations. The purpose of this pilot intervention was to determine the effectiveness of a community cooking demonstration at increasing participants’ general nutrition knowledge and confidence to prepare healthy meals with limited resources. Data was analyzed from a convenience sample of 23 low-income adults associated with Head Start (n=8) or a local soup kitchen (n=15) in the Midwestern United States. Participants attended a one-hour presentation comprised of a cooking demonstration, taste testing, and basic education on the MyPlate food guide and food safety. Subjects completed a pre- and post-assessment to measure changes in cooking confidence and general food and nutrition knowledge. Results indicated that, although there were no significant improvements in participants’ confidence to prepare healthy meals (39.3±11.3 vs. 44.5±9.1; t=1.76, p=0.25), subjects experienced significant gains in knowledge related to the MyPlate food guide (1.2±0.5 vs. 1.8±0.8; t=2.82, p=0.01) and basic food safety (0.7±0.9 vs. 2.5±1.0; t=6.05, p<0.01). Further research is necessary to identify effective strategies for parlaying increased nutrition knowledge into improved self-efficacy and behavior change.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-0887
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-0895
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

Journal Metrics

Google-based Impact Factor (2020): 0.77

h-index (December 2020): 30

i10-index (December 2020): 165

h5-index (December 2020): 15 

h5-median(December 2020): 22

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