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Surprising Science

Following TV Recipes Could Contribute to a Growing Gut

Cooking at home is healthier than eating out. But a recent study contests this assertion, saying it all depends on where you’re getting your recipes.

Cooking shows offer some delicious recipes for home wannabe chefs as well as some relaxing entertainment for people who like to wind down at the end of the day with an episode of Restaurant Impossible or The Pioneer Woman. But a recent study has found evidence that these programs are influencing some people’s waistlines.

Lizzy Pope from the University of Vermont led the study that was just published online in the journal Appetite. The study comprised of 501 women ranging from age 20 to 35. Pope obtained information about where they went to get recipes to cook new foods, how frequently they crafted home-cooked meals, and their BMI (obtained through height and weight).

There was a correlation between women who frequently cooked meals from scratch and watched food programs — they tended to have a higher BMI than women who got their recipes from other sources (friends and relatives, newspapers, or cooking classes). Also, those who watched food TV purely for entertainment, but didn’t do a lot of home-cooking tended to not have higher BMIs.

Brian Wansink, a co-author on the study from Cornell, pins some of the blame on the contents of the meals on these cooking shows. They “are not the healthiest and allow you to feel like it’s OK to prepare and indulge in either less nutritious food or bigger portions.”

This study does conflict some with previous research that has found people who eat home-cooked meals have lower BMIs. To this point, Pope said, “It definitely can result in healthier food than eating out all the time, but only if you’re cooking healthy recipes and healthy food.”

Read more at EurekAlert!.

Photo Credit: lenngrayes/Flickr


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