We think of those adventurous eaters who love to try new dishes and exotic cuisines as being excessive–even insatiable–yet a new study suggests otherwise: Foodies weigh less and could be in better shape than those among us who have less adventurous eating habits.
Good news for adventurous eaters
The study objective was to identify how food neophilia may relate to body mass index (BMI). If you are an adventurous eater you can finally back up your beliefs with science. Researchers revealed that it actually pays to be a foodie.
“Promoting adventurous eating in adults could help individuals lose or maintain weight without feeling as restricted,” researchers said.
The results of the nationwide online survey
A nationwide US online survey was conducted with a group of 501 diverse young women measuring “eating adventurousness, perceptions of novel foods, lifestyle and psychological characteristics, and BMI”.
Results showed that those who had eaten the wildest and widest variety of uncommon foods — including seitan, beef tongue, Kimchi, rabbit, and polenta— also rated themselves as healthier eaters, more physically active, and more food-conscious when compared with non-adventurous eaters.
The new Cornell Food and Brand Lab study even found that foodies were more sociable, and much more likely to have friends over for dinner, according to lead author Lara Latimer.
Adventurous eaters promoting extravagant diets
The research team adjusted the data to draw on possible associations between adventurous eating, BMI and body image.
The report published in the journal Obesity suggested that weight satisfaction, however, was not associated with adventurous eating.
Researches nevertheless hope that the study could lead to new – more daring – diets.
No more boring salads
Coauthor Brian Wansink, author of “Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life” advised dieters everywhere to move away from the “same boring salad” by adding some more adventurous food to the menu.
The study “could kick start a more novel, fun and healthy life of food adventure,” he said. “These findings are important to dieters because they show that promoting adventurous eating may provide a way for people –especially women – to lose or maintain weight without feeling restricted by a strict diet”.
Are you adventurous eaters or more traditional ones?