TV chef meals not healthy

TV chef meals not healthy

The sad explosion of reality TV celebrity chefs cooking healthy meals is a total illusion.  These meals are generally far worse than standard supermarket take-home meals.

The study was by Howard S, et al titled “Nutritional content of supermarket ready meals and recipes by television chefs in the United Kingdom: cross sectional study” as published in the British Medical Journal 2012; DOI: 10.1136/bmj.e7607.  Howard and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 100 recipes in celebrity-chef-authored cookbooks and 100 ready-made main-dish meals sold in the largest U.K. supermarket chains, reported MedPage Today on December 20, 2012.

What did the study find?

  • Analysis of the 200 samples revealed that not a single one met the goals set by the World Health Organization for the prevention of diseases relating to diet
  • The celebrity chef recipes were higher than prepared supermarket meals in fat (27.1g versus 17.2g), saturated fat (9.2g versus 6.8g), and protein (37.5g versus 27.9g)
  • The celebrity chef recipes contained less fibre per portion than supermarket prepared meals (3.3g versus 6.5g)
  • The WHO goals for fibre content were more often met by the supermarket meals
  • The celebrity chef recipes were higher in calories (604 versus 493 calories)
  • The recipes presented on these programs have been advocated as being “healthy” by some UK authorities such as Heart UK and NHS Choices
  • Some U.K. hospitals have even sought advice and meal suggestions from these chefs, which “may give the impression that meals cooked by television chefs are, generally, healthy”
  • The researchers said “Maximum nutritional benefit is likely to be derived from home cooking of nutritionally balanced recipes primarily using raw ingredients, rather than relying on ready meals or recipes by television chefs”

Posted: Sunday 30 December 2012