Food and Behaviour Research

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Viewers vs. Doers. The relationship between watching food television and BMI.

Pope L, Latimer L, Wansink B (2015) Appetite  doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2015.02.035. [Epub ahead of print] Elsevier Ltd

Web URL: Read more and find related articles on the pubmed website here


  The objective of this study was to examine where nutritional gatekeepers obtain information about new foods, and whether information source is associated with Body Mass Index (BMI), as well as whether any association varied according to how often the participant cooked from scratch.

A national panel survey of 501 females aged 20-35 assessed how participants obtained information on new recipes, and asked a series of questions about their cooking habits, their weight and height.

Linear regressions were run to determine associations between information source, cooking from scratch, and 

Obtaining information from cooking shows was positively correlated with 
BMI (p <0.05), as was obtaining information from social media (p <0.05), whereas obtaining information from other print, online, or in-person sources was not significantly associated with BMI.

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 (p <0.05).

Obtaining information about new foods from 
television cooking shows or social media - versus other sources - appears to have a unique relationship with BMI.

watching cooking shows may have a differential effect on BMI for those who are merely TV "viewers," versus those who are "doers."

Promoting healthy foods on cooking shows may be one way to positively influence the weight status of "
doers" as well as "viewers."


Please find the related news item here: 

17 March 2015 - EurekAlert - New study: Food TV a recipe for weight gain