Time is often indicated as a main barrier to cooking from scratch and to healthy eating. This has implications for health outcomes and nutrition education.
This study reviewed existing literature on the perception of time as a barrier to home cooking; the time link with cooking skills and practices; and inclusion of time in food, nutrition, and cooking education in different settings and through different media. The goal was to generate a conceptual framework to help inform healthy eating education considering time-scarce lifestyles.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
A narrative literature review was conducted involving searches in Pub Med and Google Scholar using the keywords time, food preparation, cooking, and health, and by consulting other grey literature. Years covered were 2010-2020.
One hundred and two studies were reviewed and thematic analysis was used to elicit main time-related factors which directly or indirectly were involved in food choices, preparation and consumption, and food, nutrition, and cooking skills education.
Key emergent themes included general time scarcity and consumption of low-nutritive quality food (eg eating more highly-processed, nutrient-poor foods through using convenience foods or eating fast food meals); duration of food preparation and consumption of specific foods (eg vegetables, fruit, cholesterol-rich foods); diversity of vehicles to successfully promote and aid home cooking efficiency (eg community courses, TV programs, mobile apps, video 21); culinary nutrition education for health professionals to help patients overcome time barriers to healthier eating; creative healthy snack and meal inspiration; and practical skills to plan and prepare healthy meals ahead of time.
A conceptual framework based on evidence form the literature shows how time availability and usage have implications for diet quality, and how time can be addressed in education for healthy eating. Further research could test the conceptual framework in aiding development of practical nutrition education to suit contemporary time-scarce lifestyles.
Appendix. Supplementary data
© 2020 Published by Elsevier Inc.