A Six-Week Group-Based Advanced Quantity Meal Prep Program Improves Cooking Attitudes, Behaviors, and Body Composition

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Current Developments in Nutrition

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Supplement 2



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Consumption of food away from home is associated with higher caloric intake and poorer diet quality compared to home-cooked food. The group-based advance quantity meal prep (AQMP) program was developed to increase the frequency of consumption of home-cooked meals. This pilot study aimed to determine the effects of the AQMP program on the frequency of consumption of home-cooked meals, cooking attitudes, cooking self-efficacy, and anthropometrics.
Participants were recruited from a fitness center and met at a commercial kitchen once a week for 6 weeks to complete the AQMP program. At each session, participants prepared meals in bulk and packaged individual portions. Participants were sent home with 10 meals and 5 snacks each week. These meals are defined as home-cooked. A questionnaire, height, weight, hip circumference, waist circumference, skeletal muscle mass, body fat mass, body fat percentage, and body mass index (BMI) were taken at three time points: pre-program (T1), immediately post-program (T2), and 3 months post-program (T3). The questionnaire assessed: physical activity, cooking attitudes, cooking self-efficacy, and cooking behavior and consumption.
Statistically significant increases were seen in total cooking attitudes between T1 and T3 (P = 0.01), cooking self-efficacy between T1 and T2 (P = 0.002), and reported percentage of home-cooked dinner consumption between T1 (52 ± 29%) and T2 (86 ± 14%, P = 0.04). Significant decreases in weight between T1 (85.1 ± 27.8 kg) and T3 (83.3 ± 27.4 kg, P = 0.03), body fat mass between T1 (32.0 ± 21.6 kg) and T2 (30.3 ± 21.4 kg; P = 0.01), and T1 (32.0 ± 21.6 kg) and T3 (28.6 ± 22.4 kg, P = 0.01), and BMI between T1 (31.7 ± 9.4 kg/m2) and T2 (31.0 ± 9.0 kg/m2, P = 0.03) were also observed.
This pilot study indicates that a 6-week AQMP program increased consumption of home-cooked meals and may have contributed to improvement in body composition suggesting the potential of AQMP as a tool for weight management. Additionally, incorporating a collaborative group dynamic with AQMP likely aided in increasing participant cooking attitudes and cooking self-efficacy. The positive results in this pilot study suggests that larger, controlled studies on the efficacy of group-based AQMP is warranted.
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physical activity, body mass index procedure, diet, attitude, body composition, energy intake, fitness centers, food, hip region, hip joint, skeletal muscles, self efficacy, weight maintenance regimens, body fat, waist circumference, transverse spin relaxation time, snacks


This is the Version of Record and can also be read online here.

Originally presented on 5/29/20 at the American Society for Nutrition Annual Conference virtually.


Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging