Foodies could be the healthiest among us?
Here’s something that will make food junkies feel good about themselves. Loving food is not a bad thing, says a new research. We think of those who love fine food and trying new dishes as being indulgent and even gluttonous, yet the study suggests the opposite: Foodies weigh less and could be in better health than the less adventurous among us. They tend to explore new food items more often than us, and some of them could be healthy.
Hailing from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab in the US, the research team worked with survey responses from 502 American women of a mean age of 26.8, and whose average body mass index (BMI) was 25.96. They were asked about their weight satisfaction, lifestyle and personality traits, and the research team provided a list of 16 novel foods and asked them to report which ones they had tried. Those who had sampled nine or more of the foods on the list were considered “foodies”, and the rest were considered non-adventurous eaters.
The research team adjust- ed the data to draw on possible associations between adventurous eating, BMI and body image. Those who said they noshed on staples such as seitan and kimchi also described themselves as more concerned with healthfulness of what they ate than did those who stuck to traditional fare. Foodies were also more physically active, and their overall diets appeared healthier to the research team than those of their counterparts. “They also reported being much more likely to have friends over for dinner,” says lead author Lara Latimer.
What’s more, they were likely to prepare meals that corresponded to their heritage and had a slightly lower BMI than their counterparts. “These findings are important to dieters as they show that promoting adventurous eating may provide a way for people — especially women — to lose or maintain weight without feeling restricted by a strict diet,” says author Brian Wansink. “It could kickstart a more novel, fun and healthy life of food adventure,” he added.