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Blog author, Solai Buchanan is an experienced Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with an MS from Columbia Teachers College. She specializes in treating heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, polycystic ovarian syndrome,and other chronic diseases. She is a provider at a full-service cardiology practice accepting most insurance and staffed with a primary care MD, pediatrician, and cardiologist. Call: 718.894.7907. NYCC is lead by Interventional Cardiologist Sanjeev Palta, MD, FSCAI, FACC. He trained at Cornell-Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and the State University Hospital of Brooklyn. He currently is an Attending Cardiologist at New York Methodist Hospital and Maimonides Medical Center. He is also an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Having performed over 2000 invasive cardiac procedures Dr. Palta’s patients know they are in trusted hands.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


A recent study of more than 12,000 low-income Ohio residents found eating food cooked at home, rather than out, and without the television on, was tied to lower rates of obesity.

To determine how meal practices affect obesity risk, the study team analyzed data from the 2012 Ohio Medicaid Assessment Survey on for 12,842 adults.  The participants answered questions about how often they ate meals at home and how often they watched TV while eating and how many of their meals were home-cooked.  The researchers used self-reported height and weight data to calculate each participant’s body mass index (BMI), a ratio of weight to height.  Approximately one-third of participants were obese.

They found that overall about a third of adults watched TV during most or all meals, while another 36% did not watch any TV or videos during meals. For 62% of adults, all of the meals they ate were cooked at home.  Adults who cooked all of their meals at home were 26% less likely to be obese, compared with those who ate some or no home-cooked meals.  And, individuals who never watched TV during meals had 37%  lower odds of being obese than those who always or usually watched TV or videos during meals.

These findings are consistent with previous research that has found adults and children tend to eat more food, eat more quickly, and feel less satiated when they eat while watching TV.  Trials have found focusing on the food and the experience of eating can help to slow down the rate of consumption, reduce the total calories consumed, and increase perceived fullness and satisfaction with the meal.  There is also strong evidence that meals purchased outside the home are on average higher in total calories, sodium, and unhealthy fat than the average home cooked meal. One recent study that included many cities across the U.S. found that average restaurant/takeout entrĂ©e was over 1200 calories and that there was little difference in the nutritional breakdown of meals from chains and non-chains. 

What to do: Prepare food at home when possible.  Menu planning, weekend prepping, batch cooking, utilizing devices such as rice cookers and slow cookers and drawing on healthy convenience items such as frozen vegetables, pre-washed greens, and unsalted canned beans and fish can help to minimize the time needed to prepare meals.  And, regardless of whether you are eating a meal prepared at a restaurant or at home, turning off the TV and avoiding other device screens while eating can help with portion control and meal satiety.  If it feels empty without visual media at the meal, try playing music, or using the meal time as an opportunity to catch up with family members.   

Tumin R & Anderson SE.  Television, Home-Cooked Meals, and Family Meal Frequency: Associations with Adult Obesity.  Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Published online February 24, 2017.  Available at DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2017.01.009

Adapted from article available at:

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