Can the effects of high school culinary nutrition education be sustained into adulthood?

Lynn Fredericks*, Jennifer Utter, Lucille Tang, Anjuman Shah, Casey Wilson Lofts, Jade Parry, Pamela A. Koch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review



To assess whether adolescents who appeared in an after-school cooking nutrition programme (Teen Battle Chef) sustained healthful food behaviours in the ensuing years into young adulthood. 


Interviews involving a short verbal survey assessing six health behaviours coded dichotomously and open-ended questions coded for themes describing how participants did or did not sustain behaviour change. 


Adults who had previously participated in TBC culinary nutrition programme while in high school discussed whether any lifestyle changes prompted by the programme continued into their adult lives. 


The 30 young people were interviewed (in-person or by telephone) and the interviews were audio-recorded. Transcripts were made verbatim to allow for NVivo analysis of responses. 


Thirty 17- to 24-year-olds, 6 months to 7 years after TBC programme, reported current favourable health behaviours. Results were similar for participants <3 and 3+ years post TBC. In interviews, 27 of 30 provided in-depth description of how TBC had changed their behaviours. They described cooking skills learned in TBC that they still practised. Participants discussed specific ways in which peers and family supported them to sustain behaviour change. 


Even modest findings of short-term evaluations of cooking programmes may be significant if impacts are sustained. More longer-term evaluations are needed to confirm these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-622
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Education Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes


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