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Cook like a Boss Online: an adapted intervention during the COVID-19 pandemic that effectively improved children’s perceived cooking competence, movement competence and wellbeing

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Lynsey Hollywood, Johann Issartel, David Gaul, Amanda McCloat, Elaine Mooney, Clare E. Collins, Fiona Lavelle

Original languageEnglish
Article number146
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Issue number1
Published9 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This research was funded by Research development funding from Ulster University and Queen’s University Belfast. A National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia leadership Research Fellowship (APP2009340) supports CEC. The funders had no involvement in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data or writing the manuscript. Publisher Copyright: © 2022, The Author(s).

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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated physical inactivity, poor dietary intake and reduced mental wellbeing, contributing factors to non-communicable diseases in children. Cooking interventions are proposed as having a positive influence on children’s diet quality. Motor skills have been highlighted as essential for performance of cooking skills, and this movement may contribute to wellbeing. Additionally, perceived competence is a motivator for behaviour performance and thus important for understanding intervention effectiveness. Therefore, this research aimed to assess the effectiveness of an adapted virtual theory-based cooking intervention on perceived cooking competence, perceived movement competence and wellbeing. Methods: The effective theory-driven and co-created ‘Cook Like A Boss’ was adapted to a virtual five day camp-styled intervention, with 248 children across the island of Ireland participating during the pandemic. Pre- and post-intervention assessments of perceived cooking competence, perceived movement competence and wellbeing using validated measurements were completed through online surveys. Bivariate Correlations, paired samples t-tests and Hierarchical multiple regression modelling was conducted using SPSS to understand the relationships between the variables and the effect of the intervention. Results: 210 participants had matched survey data and were included in analysis. Significant positive correlations were shown between perceived cooking competence, perceived movement competence and wellbeing (P < 0.05). Children’s perceived cooking competence (P < 0.001, medium to large effect size), perceived movement competence (P < 0.001, small to medium effect size) and wellbeing (P = 0.013, small effect size) all significantly increased from pre to post intervention. For the Hierarchical regression, the final model explained 57% of the total variance in participants’ post-intervention perceived cooking competence. Each model explained a significant amount of variance (P < 0.05). Pre-intervention perceived cooking competence, wellbeing, age and perceived movement competence were significant predictors for post-intervention perceived cooking competence in the final model. Conclusion: The ‘Cook Like A Boss’ Online intervention was an adapted virtual outreach intervention. It provides initial evidence for the associations between perceived cooking competence, perceived movement and wellbeing as well as being effective in their improvement. This research shows the potential for cooking to be used as a mechanism for targeting improvements in not only diet quality but also movement and wellbeing. Trial Registration: NCT05395234. Retrospectively registered on 26th May 2022.

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