If you’re in the mindset of thinking that supermarket ready-meals are the spawn of Satan and TV celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver are out to make the world a healthier place, it might be time to reconsider. According to the results of a new study carried out in the UK, recipes devised and promoted by famous chefs including Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson are in fact significantly less healthy than pre-packed convenience meals on the shelves in the nation’s biggest supermarkets, including Tesco and Sainbury’s.
The report suggests that the recipes the chefs list in their cookbooks were found to have higher concentrations of sugar, fat and overall calories, though scored more favorably than the supermarkets in terms of salt.
Researchers at the University of Newcastle carried on the study on 100 main-course meals from four of the most famous and influential chefs in the UK, compared to 100 similar ready-meals and TV dinners from the major supermarkets. On average, it turned out that the meals promoted by the chefs were considerably more likely to score “Red” in the World Health Organization’s nutritional guidelines than their supermarket equivalents.
“Both ready meals and those by TV chefs are not as healthy as they could be,” according to the researchers while speaking to the BBC this week. “We’re not bashing TV chefs, among them are chefs that have done a huge amount for healthy eating and tackling obesity.”
The chefs at the center of the controversy are yet to pass comment.