Celeb cooking shows an answer to obesity?

6 December 2016

Celeb cooking shows an answer to obesity?
Celeb cooking shows an answer to obesity?

Viewership of celebrity chef cooking shows is very high in Australia. They inform, educate and entertain audiences through vicarious experiences related to the pleasures of cooking and consumption of food, offering an opportunity to influence healthy consumer dietary habits in terms of higher vegetable use and consumption in home cooking.

Ms Reetica Rekhy, who has just completed her PhD at the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Sydney, undertook an online survey of 506 NSW respondents to examine the impact of a celebrity cooking show video-clip on consumer intentions and behaviour regarding vegetable consumption.

The study exposed the experimental group to an Australian celebrity chef cooking show video-clip demonstrating the use of vegetables. It measured consumer demographics, cooking attitudes and confidence, intentions and behaviour related to vegetable consumption. The results indicated cooking shows could positively impact consumer intentions related to vegetable consumption (for example, intentions to use, prepare and purchase more vegetables).

However, exposure to the video-clip did not translate into higher vegetable consumption behaviour in the experimental group when compared to the control cohort, measured one week after the intervention.

The findings suggest that positive reinforcement of health messaging is an important component of behaviour change, rather than a single prompting of an idea.

Ms Rekhy recently published a paper about consumer awareness of health benefits associated with vegetable consumption. Her findings suggest nutrient and health benefit labelling has the capacity to enhance knowledge of vegetable consumers.

More information about Ms Rekhy's cooking-show research is on the 9 News website.