Do In-Person and Virtual Hands-on Cooking Classes and Nutrition Education Impact Low Income Elderly's Food Intake Pattern?

Riley Alvaro, Dillon Gooder, Jordan Franklin, Sarah Doelp, Michael B. Roberts, Farzaneh Daghigh

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentation


Objectives: To assess the effects of hands-on cooking and education on adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet) in low-income populations. Preliminary studies have shown that cooking classes are associated with improved attitudes, and a healthier dietary intake in adults and children. The use of educational cooking classes in relation to adherence to the MedDiet in low income elderly populations has yet to be studied. Methods: Cooking classes were taught in-person and virtually. A quiz and demographic survey were given prior to the start of each class. Quizzes assessed participants’ knowledge of MedDiet nutrition, and demographic surveys gathered general data. Residents were required to cook a MedDiet approved main dish, side dish, and dessert. After each session, participants were educated on MedDiet, potential benefits and nutritional components of all the foods used. An identical quiz was given again at the end of the session. Two to four weeks after each class, a behavioral survey was used to identify if participants remade the dishes, adjusted their lifestyle, or considered the health value of their food consumption. Results: Preliminary analysis showed, regardless of cohort, that post-quiz scores significantly increased (M=71.9, SD=22.3) compared to pre-quiz scores (M=62.1, SD=25.1) with a large effect size (p=.009, η 2p  =.145). Due to nonnormally distributed pre-quiz data, a non-parametric analysis was conducted, which confirmed, for each cohort; pre-quiz scores were lower than post-quiz scores (p=.008). Analysis of both virtual and in-person hands-on cooking revealed a significant difference between pre- and post-quiz scores regardless of condition (p=.018, η 2p  =0.120). There was no interaction effect between quiz scores and virtual or in-person conditions. This indicates that the increase in post-quiz score is independent of the MedDiet delivery method. Of study participants 29% remade the main dish (53%=side dish, 21%=dessert). Conclusions: Data suggests that participants benefit from the cooking classes and learn about nutrition effectively. Average nutritional knowledge increased in both cohorts after participation. Funding Sources: Funding was provided by a Community- Engaged Research Faculty Fellowship Grant and also support of the Department of Research at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Jun 2023
EventNutrition 2023 - Boston, MA
Duration: Jun 1 2023 → …


ConferenceNutrition 2023
Period6/1/23 → …


  • Nutrition

Cite this