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Food preparation knowledge of adults of various ages

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Ries, Carol P. (main author), Tracy, Melanie D. (author), Eastern Illinois University
Conference paper
Publication Date:
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois Box: 97
Subject Term:
food, food safety, homemaker education, Illinois, USA, knowledge, rural-urban differences, socio-economic aspects
James F. Evans Collection, Ham, Mimeographed, 1994. 1 p. Presented at the Society for Nutrition Education, Portland, OR, July 16-20, 1994., The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of cooking knowledge among adults of various ages. A convenience sample of 280 adults (71% female) completed a 40-item MC basic cooking knowledge test. The test was developed in consultation with two non-professional, experienced family cooks and validated by a panel of foods and nutrition faculty. The KR20 coefficient for reliability was 0.81. ANOVA was used to compare scores of males and females of the four age cohorts (20-35 yrs., 36-50 yrs, 51-65 yrs., and 66+ yrs.) from rural and urban areal. The mean score for the total group was 75% correct indicating a moderate level of basic cooking knowledge. Over two-thirds (68%) of the total sample scored 70% correct or better. Females (78% correct) scored significantly higher than males (68% correct). Participants aged 35-65 yrs. scored higher than did those aged 20-35 yrs. or 66+ yrs. (79 vs. 70 and 72%, p<0.001). Participants who lived in rural areas (pop.<50,000) as children (78% correct) scored higher (p<0.05) than did their urban counterparts (pop > 50,000, 73% correct). Knowledge comparisons made within each age cohort indicated that females scored higher than males, but no significant differences were found between participants with rural or urban backgrounds. Results indicate that while many adults are fairly knowledgeable about basic cooking procedures, a substantial proportion are not; therefore, food preparation education is warranted.