There’s a new-age proverb in the dietitian community that more people seem to be agreeing with:
Diets don’t work.
Why don’t they work? In the traditional sense, diets are restrictive and ultimately unsustainable. They tend to focus on short-term results instead of long-term behavior change, and when it finally comes to an end, the dieter feels lost as to how to live a normal, balanced life thereafter. Past behaviors can start creeping back, and the cycle of dieting continues.
This is not only harmful mentally and physically, but can serve as an unhealthy model for our younger generation.
A new study is supporting the notion that a multidisciplinary, behavior-focused approach to improving health is more effective long-term. The study used a program model called the Teaching Kitchen, which combines hands-on cooking classes with education sessions in mindfulness, health coaching, nutrition education, and physical activity. The Teaching Kitchen takes a “technique-driven, recipe-inspired” approach which allows participants to adapt their recipes to their personal preferences.
After the 4 month pilot program was complete, participants showed significant decreases in body weight, waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and cholesterol. Self-reported behaviors also improved, including an increased confidence in cooking and a tendency to cook more meals at home. In the 6-month and 12-month follow-up period after the program, the positive effects had persisted, with the change in waist circumference and diastolic blood pressure remaining statistically significant.
This research speaks volumes to the benefits a Teaching Kitchen could offer. Flik is excited to announce its partnership with Teaching Kitchen, and to introduce these concepts to our school communities. Be on the lookout for future posts chronicling our involvement with Teaching Kitchen, and check out this website for more information.