February 22, 2019
Fried Egg and Bacon Waffle Sandwich

TV Cooking Shows and Weight Gain

by Berkeley Wellness  

Do cooking shows on TV inspire you to make the dishes shown? If so, that may be causing you to gain weight.

As reported in a study in the journal Appetite, researchers from Cornell University surveyed 500 young women (ages 20 to 35) about where they learned about foods and recipes, as well as how often they cooked from scratch, to see how these factors correlated with their weight. Those who watched cooking shows frequently and often cooked from scratch weighed about 12 pounds more, on average, than those who did not watch the shows. Women who cooked from scratch but rarely watched cooking shows did not weigh more, nor did those who watched the shows but seldom cooked from scratch (“viewers” not “doers”).

Previous research has found that people who cook from scratch tend to eat more healthfully and weigh less than those who eat mostly packaged or prepared foods.

Even though some cooking shows focus on healthy foods, most present “indulgent,” high-calorie fare, the researchers said, and seeing celebrity “authorities” prepare them on TV encourages many home cooks to follow their lead.

Also see TV Cooking Shows Cook Up Trouble.