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Who’s Cooking? Trends in US Home Food Preparation by Gender, Education, and Race/Ethnicity from 2003 to 2016


Taillie, Lindsey Smith (2018). Who’s Cooking? Trends in US Home Food Preparation by Gender, Education, and Race/Ethnicity from 2003 to 2016. Nutrition Journal, 17, 41. PMCID: PMC5881182


Background: While US home cooking declined in the late twentieth century, it is unclear whether the trend has continued. This study examines home cooking from 2003 to 2016 by gender, educational attainment, and race/ethnicity.
Methods: Nationally representative data from the American Time Use Study from 2003 to 2016 and linear regression models were used to examine changes in the percent of adults aged 18–65 years who cook and their time spent cooking, with interactions to test for differential changes by demographic variables of gender, education, and race/ethnicity.
Results: Cooking increased overall from 2003 to 2016. The percent of college-educated men cooking increased from 37.9% in 2003 to 51.9% in 2016, but men with less than high school education who cook did not change (33.2% in 2016) (p < 0.05). College-educated women who cook increased from 64.7% in 2003 to 68.7% in 2016, while women with less than high school education had no change (72.3% in 2016) (p < 0.05). Women with less education spent more time cooking per day than high-educated women, but the reverse was true for men. Among men, the percent who cook increased for all race/ethnic groups except non-Hispanic blacks. Among women, only non-Hispanic whites increased in percent who cook. Among both men and women, non-Hispanic blacks had the lowest percentage who cooked, and non-Hispanic others spent the greatest amount of time cooking.
Conclusions: Home cooking in the United States is increasing, especially among men, though women still cook much more than men. Further research is needed to understand whether the heterogeneity in home cooking by educational attainment and race/ethnicity observed here contributes to diet-related disparities in the United States.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Nutrition Journal


Taillie, Lindsey Smith