STUDY | 
Health
 BEHAVIOR CHANGE

Increasing intention to cook from basic ingredients: A randomised controlled study.

Lavelle (2017)
Summary by 

The promotion of home cooking is a strategy used to improve diet quality and health. However, modern home cooking typically includes the use of processed food which can lead to negative outcomes including weight gain. In addition, interventions to improve cooking skills do not always explain how theory informed their design and implementation. The Behaviour Change Technique (BCT) taxonomy successfully employed in other areas has identified essential elements for interventions. This study investigated the effectiveness of different instructional modes for learning to cook a meal, designed using an accumulating number of BCTs, on participants perceived difficulty, enjoyment, confidence and intention to cook from basic ingredients. 141 mothers aged between 20 and 39 years from the island of Ireland were randomised to one of four conditions based on BCTs (1) recipe card only [control condition]; (2) recipe card plus video modelling; (3) recipe card plus video prompting; (4) recipe card plus video elements. Participants rated their enjoyment, perceived difficulty, confidence and intention to cook again pre, mid and post experiment. Repeated one-way factorial ANOVAs, correlations and a hierarchical regression model were conducted. Despite no significant differences between the different conditions, there was a significant increase in enjoyment (P<0.001), confidence (P<0.001) and intention to cook from basics again (P<0.001) and a decrease in perceived difficulty (P=0.001) after the experiment in all conditions. Intention to cook from basics pre-experiment, and confidence and enjoyment (both pre and post experiment) significantly contributed to the final regression model explaining 42% of the variance in intention to cook from basics again. Cooking interventions should focus on practical cooking and increasing participants enjoyment and confidence during cooking to increase intention to cook from basic ingredients at home.