Food and Behaviour Research

Donate Log In

Cooking at Home: A Strategy to Comply With U.S. Dietary Guidelines at No Extra Cost.

Tiwari A, Aggarwal A, Tang W, Drewnowski A. (2017) Am J Prev Med  pii: S0749-3797 (17)30023-5. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.01.017. [Epub ahead of print]

Web URL: Read this and related abstracts on



Cooking at home is associated with better diet quality. This study examined the frequency of home-cooked dinners versus eating out in relation to the Healthy Eating Index (HEI), and food expenditures.


The Seattle Obesity Study used a stratified random sample of 437 King County adults. In-person computer-assisted interviews collected sociodemographic and behavioral data during 2011-2013. HEI-2010 and 2005 were computed using Food Frequency Questionnaires. Multivariable regression analyses, conducted in 2015, examined associations among HEI scores, food expenditures, and frequency of cooking at home versus eating out variables.


Frequent home-cooked dinners were associated with being married, unemployed, larger households, presence of children aged


Home-cooked dinners were associated with greater dietary guideline compliance, without significant increase in food expenditures. By contrast, frequent eating out was associated with higher expenditures and lower compliance. Home cooking may be a component of nutrition resilience.