We all know drooling over #foodporn can inspire a trip to brunch, but new research suggests that it’s not just looking at gorgeous food pics that could be affecting your health. According to this study by the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, the type of food in your very own kitchen may be affecting your weight too.
Brian Wansink, a professor/director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, and his colleagues surveyed 500 adult women and asked them to answer yes or no questions about the food and appliances found on their kitchen counters. They also tracked data on their weight and height.
Wansink discovered that which foods were on the counter, where food is visible and readily available, could affect BMI for both women and men. According to the study, the presence of fruits was associated with a lower BMI, while packaged foods resulted in a higher BMI for both women and men.
To build on the results of the first study and collect additional information, the research team conducted a second study in Syracuse, New York. The results suggest that normal-weight participants were more likely to have fresh fruits and less likely to have regular soft drinks in their kitchens than obese participants. Normal-weight participants also had fewer cookies, cakes and muffins lying around on their counters. The study further breaks down this data by gender, finding that, while normal-weight women were more likely to have fruit on their counters and less likely to have soft drinks visible in their kitchen, normal-weight men and obese men were equally likely to have soft drinks on their countertops. Women who had breakfast cereal on their counters also tended to weigh slightly heavier than those who did not, while the presence of cereal was not associated with a higher BMI in men. More detailed comparisons can be found in the paper published last October in the Health Education & Behavior journal.
Overall, the research shows the importance and role of our environment, especially our own homes, when it comes to our health. We have a tendency to help ourselves to what is immediately visible in our kitchen. If we want to stay healthy, it is vital to keep healthy food around and snacks out of sight.
What type of food is immediately visible in your kitchen?
(Photos via Getty)