Want to live healthier? Go for home cooked meals.

A recent study revealed that home cooked meals are not only better for you health, it’s better for your economic status as well.

Most people think that the more affluent a person is, the healthier he becomes. However, that belief has been refuted with the result of a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Study: Home Cooked Meals Are Better for Your Health

Arpita Tiwari, a health systems researcher at Oregon State University (OSU), said that eating dinner at home means a better diet and is better for the economic status of a household.

More than 400 adults from Seattle, Washington were involved in the research and their eating and cooking habits were surveyed for one week.

The participants were asked to disclose their sociodemographic information and their weekly food intake was assessed using a Healthy Eating Index (HEI). A higher score, which ranged from 1 to 100, means better diet quality. If their score is 50 or less, it was assessed as “poor”, on the other hand, an index score of 81 indicates a “good” diet quality. A score between 51 to 80 means “needs improvement”.

Study: Home Cooked Meals Are Better for Your Health
“Our research empirically quantifies that when we regularly eat dinner at home, our nutrition intake is better.”

The results revealed that households that consumed cooked meals three times per week had an average score of about 67. Households that cook six times on an average scored 74.

The study also revealed that consuming home cooked meals is associated with diets that have less calories and are lower in sugar and fat which meant that they were meeting the guidelines for healthy eating more as determined by the US Department of Agriculture.

Although a higher HEI score is generally associated with a higher socioeconomic status, Tiwari said that the study showed no association between income or education.

Our research empirically quantifies that when we regularly eat dinner at home, our nutrition intake is better.

On a final note, the study also found that about 80% of the US residents fail to meet the federal dietary guidelines. It also showed that about half of the money spent on eating by US households is spent on food that is not cooked at home.

Sources: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Shanghai Daily