Patterns of home cooking practices among participants in a behavioral weight loss program: A latent class analysis

Margaret Raber, Michael C. Robertson, Thuan Le, Leticia A. Gatus, Ruth Rechis, Katherine Oestman, Karen Basen-Engquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cooking education is a popular approach to health promotion; however, the relationship between specific cooking practices, diet and weight loss is not well understood. The goal of this study was to 1) evaluate the relationship between cooking practices, dietary behaviors, and weight loss after a weight loss intervention and 2) identify patterns of cooking practices and their implications on weight loss. Using a quasi-experimental, single-arm cohort study design, we analyzed data from 249 adults with overweight/obesity who were participating in a weight loss program. Participants self-reported demographics, height and weight, and diet and physical activity behaviors. The Health Cooking Questionnaire 2 (HCQ2) was used to collect information on cooking practices post intervention. The HCQ2 responses were used to generate Healthy Cooking Index (HCI) scores, a summative measure of cooking practices with the potential to influence health. Latent Class Analysis (LCA) was utilized to define distinct patterns of cooking behaviors. Cooking patterns and HCI scores were examined relative to participant demographics, dietary behaviors, and weight loss. HCI scores post-intervention were positively associated with age, weight loss, and favorable dietary behaviors in this study. The LCA revealed three distinct patterns of cooking behavior (Red Meat Simple, Vegetarian Simple, Health & Taste Enhancing). The Red Meat Simple cooking pattern was associated with less weight loss compared to other patterns. The findings of this study set the foundation for more research on cooking education as a method for improving weight loss outcomes in the context of behavioral interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106504
StatePublished - May 1 2023


  • Diet
  • Food preparation
  • Home cooking behavior
  • Latent class analysis
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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