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16 MAY 2012

Frequent cooking will help you live longer

A new study published in Public Health Nutrition links frequent cooking to a longer life.

In advanced economies, households generally cook less than half of their meals, leading to increased concern among nutrition policy makers.

In the study conducted over 10 years the team of Taiwanese and Australian researchers looked at the cooking practices of a group of free-living elderly Taiwanese people aged 65 and over.

The researchers found that nearly half (43 per cent) of the study population never cooked; 17 per cent cooked 1-2 times a week; 9 per cent cooked 3-5 times a week and 31 per cent cooked up to 5 times a week.

During the study, 695 of the participants died and an analysis of their cooking habits revealed that those who cooked more were more likely to still be alive (only 59 per cent of the frequent cooks died). The possibility of other factors, besides cooking, was also extensively investigated, but the aforementioned link still remained.

The study's lead author, Professor Mark Wahlqvist, said: "It has become clear that cooking is a healthy behaviour. It deserves a place in life-long education, public health policy, urban planning and household economics. The pathways to health that food provides are not limited to its nutrients or components, but extend to each step in the food chain, from its production, to purchase, preparation and eating, especially with others".

The report 'Cooking frequency may enhance survival in Taiwanese elderly' by Rosalind Chia-Yu Chen, Meei-Shyuan Lee, Yu-Hung Chang and Mark L Wahlqvist, is available to view on Cambridge Journals Online for a limited period:

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


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