The Meals on Cooking Shows Will Make You Fat

by Leigh Anderson
Originally Published: 

Jezebel reports this week on a study from the journal Appetite that looked at 501 women ages 21-35 (the “nutritional gatekeepers” for families) and asked where they got their ideas and recipes for meals. The researchers found that women who get their information from cooking shows or social media tend to have a higher BMI than women who get their information from print or online sources or from other people. Women who watched the shows and then cooked the meals weighed 11 pounds more than the women who merely watched the shows but didn’t actually prepare the recipes. (164 pounds versus 153 pounds.) Watching the shows—but not cooking the meals—meant slimmer figures.

And if you thought, as I did, that cooking from scratch might protect you from weight gain, think again: “A significant interaction between watching cooking shows and cooking from scratch indicated that cooking from scratch, as well as watching cooking shows was associated with higher BMI.”

I guess this…sort of makes sense? I am the “nutritional gatekeeper” for my family, and I’ve been operating under the assumption that cooking from scratch is healthy. But I am a little heavier than I was when I was pre-marriage, something I chalk up to the fact that singledom often meant eating a few crackers and calling it a dinner. The meals I cook now are more rounded and probably more caloric. But I get exactly zero menu input from cooking shows; I’m assuming the meals they feature are even more elaborate and caloric than my lame little dinners.

But hey, if you love Paula Deen or Bobby Flay, you don’t have to give up the TV. Just watch it on the treadmill at the gym.

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