Presentation Title

Cooking Intervention and Perceived Stress Levels Among College Students

Presenter's Name(s)

Nicole M. BellhornFollow

Abstract

College is full of new experiences and pressures that may prevent students from having healthy eating patterns and often lead to increased stress. An intervention designed to improve cooking ability may reduce students’ stress levels by increasing their food agency and decreasing the time and effort needed to prepare meals. For this study, participants were randomly assigned to one of four intervention groups: cooking classes and meal kit intervention, cooking classes only, meal kit only, and control. Phase 1 consisted of weekly cooking classes for six weeks, where the participants actively prepared a recipe and engaged in a sensory analysis of the food. Phase 2 consisted of a 6-week meal kit intervention, where participants were provided with a recipe and ingredients for three meals, for six weeks. Participants completed the Perceived Stress Scale questionnaire at the start of the intervention and at the end of each phase. Neither the cooking, nor the meal kit intervention reduced perceived stress levels among the participants. Further research is needed to determine whether a food agency intervention has the ability to reduce stress levels in college students.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Lizzy Pope

Secondary Mentor NetID

skasser

Secondary Mentor Name

Susan Kasser

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Program/Major

Health Sciences

Primary Research Category

Health Sciences

Second College (optional)

Honors College

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Cooking Intervention and Perceived Stress Levels Among College Students

College is full of new experiences and pressures that may prevent students from having healthy eating patterns and often lead to increased stress. An intervention designed to improve cooking ability may reduce students’ stress levels by increasing their food agency and decreasing the time and effort needed to prepare meals. For this study, participants were randomly assigned to one of four intervention groups: cooking classes and meal kit intervention, cooking classes only, meal kit only, and control. Phase 1 consisted of weekly cooking classes for six weeks, where the participants actively prepared a recipe and engaged in a sensory analysis of the food. Phase 2 consisted of a 6-week meal kit intervention, where participants were provided with a recipe and ingredients for three meals, for six weeks. Participants completed the Perceived Stress Scale questionnaire at the start of the intervention and at the end of each phase. Neither the cooking, nor the meal kit intervention reduced perceived stress levels among the participants. Further research is needed to determine whether a food agency intervention has the ability to reduce stress levels in college students.