Domestic Cooking and Food Skills: A Review

L. McGowan, M. Caraher, M. Raats, F. Lavelle, L.E. Hollywood, D. McDowell, M. Spence, A. McCloat, E. Mooney, M. Dean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Citations (Scopus)


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 (Rees et al. 2012 ; Reicks et al. 2014 ) 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 1998-2013. Most measures were not theory-based, limited psychometric data was available, with little consistency of items or scales used for CS/FS measurements. Some positive associations between CS/FS and FV 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 behaviour and dietary quality. This will aid future dietary intervention design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1549-7852
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 30 Nov 2015


  • Cooking
  • food
  • skills
  • food literacy
  • measurement
  • scale
  • diet


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