Study: Using TV Cooking Shows May Link to Added Pounds

You’ve probably heard that cooking at home is an easy way to manage your weight and improve your health. But how much thought have you given to where you go to find new recipes? A study recently published in the journal Appetite found that, icanstockphoto10388793f you cook at home, using recipes and other information from TV cooking shows or social media sites may actually put you at risk of being a higher weight.

Recipes on cooking shows are often high in calories. The study used an online survey to ask 501 women ages 20-35 about their preferred sources of information about new foods, cooking habits, weight, and height.

A little over half the women said they cooked from scratch. Among both women who often cook from scratch and women who do not, getting food information from social media was associated with a higher BMI, a measure of body fat.

However, getting food information from TV cooking shows was only associated with a higher BMI among the home cooks and not among the women who rarely cooked. Among the cooking show fans, home cooks weighed 11 pounds more on average compared to non-cooks. Continue reading


Can Active Video Games Replace Your Gym Membership?

This morning, AICR Vice-President for Programs Deirdre McGinley-Gieser shares some thoughts about the role of active video games in the day to day life of her family. 

Researchers are looking at the Wii Fit and similar active video games to see if they can play a role in increasing physical activity and fitness. From the few studies published so far, it seems that the intensity of game is crucial. The health benefits seem to kick in once the “Beginner” levels have passed, and the intensity of activity reaches moderate-to-vigorous levels.

I’m trying this out myself, as a Wii was one of the packages under our Christmas tree this year – offering a more convenient path to regular exercise than a daily trip to the gym. Continue reading


Your New Status: Not Sedentary

Surf the web, watch TV or check your friends’ social media status and latest posts and suddenly you realize you haven’t been on your feet for 3 or 4 hours.

Over time, sedentary behavior (sitting in front of the computer or TV for example) may be, by itself, contributing to chronic disease risk, including cancer.

Yes, researchers are looking more and more at how much time people spend being  sedentary and the harm that does.

Two large studies (European Heart Journal and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology) measured participants’ “sedentary behavior” time and found that those with highest levels compared to those with lowest levels had increased risk of heart disease or heart disease risk factors.  These results are similar to those from smaller studies.

The good news: in one study participants who took more frequent breaks from being sedentary fared somewhat better.

If you have a sedentary job, take a short break every 30 minutes just to get up and walk or move around, even for a couple of minutes.  Spend less time in front of the TV and when you do watch TV, stretch or stand up for awhile – avoid just sitting for long periods of time.  Small steps do, indeed, make a difference.

Join our Never Too Late campaign and find ideas on how you can make changes at any age to move toward more activity  and healthier eating patterns.