Is MasterChef making you fat?

Holly Enriquez
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The hit series MasterChef could be helping to fuel the obesity epidemic, a leading obesity expert from the UK told Brisbane's Sunday Mail yesterday.

Dr Ian Campbell, an adviser to the British Government on combating obesity, said the show is not sending out a good message about healthy eating.

MasterChef should be warning viewers the food contestants prepare "is only for special occasions — a rare treat — not for every day," he said.

"They use lots of oil and salt and it is not healthy food," Dr Campbell said.

Dr Campbell's warning follows a 2009 report by the UK's Fat Panel, which analysed the saturated fat content of a variety of meals from celebrity chefs' cook books.

The group discovered that many recipes contained more than 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of saturated fat (30g for men and 20g for women) in a single serving.

"Simple steps to cut down on the amount of saturated fat," Sian Porter, dietician and Fat Panel member said, "such as adapting recipes by swapping less-healthy ingredients and using healthier cooking methods could potentially save thousands of lives and years of living with heart disease."

VIEW GALLERY: Tips to make your favourite recipes healthier

Australian nutritionist Susie Burrell agrees that shows such as MasterChef promote heavy usage of oil, butter and cream and that the amount of fat in just one of these meals can add up to our daily allowance.

"You've seen the cooking shows, they just get the [oil] bottle and pour — there's no measuring," she told the Kerri-Anne show.

Burrell recommends limiting these kilojoule-heavy meals to once a week only. "These are not things we need every day," she said.

Watch the video above to learn more.

Have your say: have you made a meal from a cooking show?

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