Based just on my dinner last night’a warm summer evening, halibut kebabs on the barbeque with a peach and mango salsa on the side, and with a good friend joining us for dinner’I can see why the results from a study that looked at the emotional aspects of why people tend to eat healthier meals at home ring true.
The study, done by researchers at McGill University and the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, looked at the eating behaviours and the emotional states before and after meals of 160 non-obese women. The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggest that people who are in a good mood at home tend to prepare more-nutritious meals, and feel more emotionally rewarded after eating them.
The researchers concluded, "The home is a privileged environment that nurtures healthy eating and in which healthier food choices trigger and are triggered by more positive emotions." They suggested that novel strategies for encouraging healthy eating could include home design, even the choice of music and kitchen equipment.
Though this study was looking at the emotional factors behind healthy eating, it also strikes me there are some obvious additional benefits that make eating at home likely to be healthier: no automatic bread basket delivered to the table; it’s easy to grab fruit for dessert’we had fresh cantaloupe and frozen yogurt’rather than typical calorie-laden restaurant desserts; and there’s no tempting deep-fried fare at the next table.
Do you find that eating at home inspires you to eat healthier meals?