Meal preparation and cleanup time and cardiometabolic risk over 14years in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN)

Bradley M. Appelhans*, Eisuke Segawa, Imke Janssen, Lisa M. Nackers, Rasa Kazlauskaite, Ana Baylin, John W. Burns, Lynda H. Powell, Howard M. Kravitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether baseline levels and longitudinal changes in meal preparation and cleanup time are associated with changes in cardiometabolic risk factors in midlife women. Methods: Subjects were 2755 midlife women enrolled in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation, a multi-ethnic, longitudinal cohort study in the United States. The five diagnostic components of the metabolic syndrome and meal preparation/cleanup time were assessed repeatedly across 14. years of follow-up (spanning 1996-2011) at seven U.S. sites. Mixed-effects logistic and ordered logistic models tested associations between meal preparation/cleanup time and odds of meeting criteria for metabolic syndrome and its individual diagnostic components. Results: Women who spent more time preparing and cleaning up meals at baseline, or demonstrated greater increases in this activity, had greater increases over time in their odds of having metabolic syndrome and in the number of metabolic syndrome components for which they met criteria. Adjusted associations were observed between meal preparation/cleanup time and hypertension, impaired fasting glucose, hypertriglyceridemia, and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, but not abdominal obesity. Conclusions: In midlife women, greater meal preparation/cleanup time is associated with the development of an adverse cardiometabolic risk profile. Public health interventions should place greater emphasis on cooking healthfully, not just cooking frequently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive medicine
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Cardiovascular disease risk
  • Meal preparation
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Midlife women
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Waist circumference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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