Date of Award

12-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Food Technology

Advisor

Cason, Katherine L

Committee Member

Crandall, Lee

Committee Member

Layfield, Dale

Committee Member

Haley-Zitlin, Vivian

Abstract

The obesity epidemic continues to be a problem both in the US and worldwide. A number of factors have been attributed including: frequency of fast-food consumption, increased portion sizes, increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, increased sedentary lifestyles, lack of nutrition knowledge, and lack of cooking skills. Nutrition intervention programs continue to be created providing innovative and creative ways of educating the public with pertinent knowledge and skills necessary for improving healthful behaviors; however, few programs focus on cooking skill development within a familial environment. The Generations Eating Together Through Cooking (G.E.T.T. Cooking) program was created by the lead researcher as a four-lesson, interactive cooking curriculum whose main objective was to increase cooking self-efficacy, nutritional knowledge, and family meal frequency while focusing on the intergenerational relationship of the participants. The curriculum was pilot tested from July to August 2015 with six grandparent-grandchild/ren pairings in Clemson, SC. A quasi-experimental, mixed-methods approach was used to assess changes in cooking self-efficacy, family meal frequency, and nutritional knowledge between pre- and post-intervention phases. Results demonstrated an increase in cooking self-efficacy in the children and grandparents. Nutritional knowledge also increased across all children participants. Grandparents demonstrated an increase in food safety and food behavior practices. Emerging themes throughout the intervention phase focused on cooking skill acquisition highlighting an increased comfort in knife handling, fruit and vegetable preparation, and raw meat handling. A two-month follow-up interview conducted with the parents, grandchildren, and grandparents provided evidence to the sustainability of the nutrition knowledge and cooking skills. The largest barrier to child participation in cooking activities was school. Enthusiasm for continued practice at home and participation in the program was expressed by all participants. Parents did not participate in the intervention yet expressed the positive changes in diet and attitudes toward food preparation activities noticed in the child participants. Future research will aim at implementing the curriculum with a larger, more economically and ethnically diverse population.

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Nutrition Commons

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