Impacts of A Taste of African Heritage: A Culinary Heritage Cooking Course

Marla Reicks, Abby Gold, Nicole Tran, Kelly LeBlanc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To examine changes in cooking and dietary behaviors and health outcomes following participation in A Taste of African Heritage, a culinary heritage cooking course.

DESIGN: One group, pre-post program design, surveys, and physical assessments.

SETTING: Community centers, churches, health care settings, homes, and housing complexes.

PARTICIPANTS: Participants (n = 586, 84% women) were recruited by partner organizations from 2013-2018 across 21 states and the District of Columbia.

INTERVENTION(S): A 6-week cooking curriculum that teaches history, nutrition, and cooking techniques to reconnect participants with the vibrant, healthy traditions of the African Diaspora.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Weekly frequency of cooking, food group intake, and exercise assessed by surveys, measured weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure.

ANALYSIS: Linear and logistic mixed-effects models with random intercepts for participant and teacher, sex and site type as covariates comparing pre-post physical measurements and binary behavioral outcomes, P < 0.0033 for statistical significance after Bonferroni correction.

RESULTS: Intake frequencies of fruit, vegetable, and greens and exercise frequency were improved from preprogram to postprogram (all P < 0.0021). Weight, waist circumference, and systolic blood pressure were also improved from preprogram to postprogram (all P <0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Participation in A Taste of African Heritage was associated with positive behavior changes and health outcomes. Integrating cultural heritage and behaviors are positive components to connect participants to healthy old ways or traditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-396
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health Award Number UL1-TR002494. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors


  • African culinary heritage
  • adults
  • cooking curriculum
  • eating patterns
  • weight

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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