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Wednesday 26th June 2019

Chef meals 'less healthy' than ready meals

18th December 2012

Researchers at Newcastle University have said that meals endorsed by celebrity chefs are "less healthy" than supermarket's own-brand ready meals.


According to their study, published in the British Medical Journal, meals from well-known chefs' cookbooks were higher in fat, sugar and calories than ready meals.

The study compared recipes from Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, Lorraine Pascale and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall with ready meals from Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda.

The researchers looked at 100 main course meals from the four chefs and compared them to supermarket ready meals.

Prof Martin White, from the Institute of Health and Society at the university, told the BBC: "Both ready meals and those by TV chefs are not as healthy as they could be."

"We're not bashing TV chefs, among them are chefs that have done a huge amount for healthy eating and tackling obesity." 

The team compared both the recipes and the ready meals with nutritional guidance from the World Health Organization.

While the chefs' recipes had the highest amounts of calories, fat, saturated fat and sugar, they had less salt than the ready meals.

A spokesman for Jamie Oliver said: "We welcome any research which raises debate on these issues."

"We would regard the key issue to be food education so that people are aware of which foods are for every day and which are treats to be enjoyed occasionally." 

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