Cookery classes 'could prevent obesity'

8 November 2011

Teaching children how to cook healthy and wholesome meals at a young age could help prevent obesity and lower the need for weight loss surgery, a new project shows.

Founder and executive director of the Cooking with Kids initiative Lynn Walters and programme director Jane Stacey have developed an integrated curriculum as part of Elsevier Health Services, which aims to raise awareness to children of the importance of nutrition.

The leaders of the campaign said that childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures and mentioned that the programme recognises the importance of reaching children early to form good food habits.

A study in the November and December issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior shows how the Cooking with Kids project successfully helps students learn school subjects and develop skills for the kitchen.

As part of a larger evaluation, researchers from the Colorado State University Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition interviewed 178 school goers to discover students' cooking attitudes and experiences. They found that those who learned cooking in school did not consider the tasks to be chores outside of lessons.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Lukas, Catherine, V, et al., "Qualitative Investigation of the Cooking with Kids Program: Focus Group Interviews with Fourth-Grade Students, Teachers, and Food Educators", Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, November/December 2011

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