Gender differences in global estimates of cooking frequency prior to COVID-19

Julia A. Wolfson, Yoshiki Ishikawa, Chizuru Hosokawa, Kate Janisch, Jennifer Massa, David M. Eisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The frequency of cooking at home has not been assessed globally. Data from the Gallup World Poll in 2018/2019 wave (N = 145,417) were collected in 142 countries using telephone and face to face interviews. We describe differences in frequency of ‘scratch’ cooking lunch and dinner across the globe by gender. Poisson regression was used to assess predictors of cooking frequency. Associations between disparities in cooking frequency (at the country level) between men and women with perceptions of subjective well-being were assessed using linear regression. Across the globe, cooking frequency varied considerably; dinner was cooked more frequently than lunch; and, women (median frequency 5 meals/week) cooked both meals more frequently than men (median frequency 0 meals/week). At the country level, greater gender disparities in cooking frequency are associated with lower Positive Experience Index scores (−0.021, p = 0.009). Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the frequency with which men and women cook meals varied considerably between nations; and, women cooked more frequently than men worldwide. The pandemic, and related ‘stay at home’ directives have dramatically reshaped the world, and it will be important to monitor changes in the ways and frequency with which people around the world cook and eat; and, how those changes relate to dietary patterns and health outcomes on a national, regional and global level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105117
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • Cooking frequency
  • Disparities
  • Gallup world poll
  • Gender
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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