TV recipes not healthy: Survey

New York: If you source your recipes from TV, you are likely to weigh about 11 pounds more than if you watch cooking shows for entertainment and do not often cook, finds a study.

"One reason for this phenomenon may be that often the recipes portrayed on TV 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," said study co-author Brian Wansink, director of Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab.

 TV recipes not healthy: Survey
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The Cornell team surveyed 501 women, aged 20-35, to assess their cooking habits and how they obtained new recipes.

They found that those who obtained recipe information from cooking shows and often cooked from scratch weighed an average of 11 pounds more than those who watched food TV but did not often cook and those who looked for new recipes in print, online or from in-person sources.

These findings, published in the journal Appetite, indicate that it is advantageous for cooks to gather recipe information from sources other than television.

"Because many cooking shows normalise over-consumption and gratification, it comes as no surprise that viewers' culinary habits are negatively influenced," said Lizzy Pope, director of the didactic programme in dietetics at the University of Vermont.

This is why it is so important for cooks who enjoy watching these shows to recognise these influences and learn to modify recipes to be more healthful or find recipes from other sources, he said.

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