Celebrity chef recipes more unhealthy than ready meals

A study in the BMJ compared 100 supermarket ready meals from Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury to a random sample of 100 recipes from the books of TV chefs. They found that the celebrity recipes came out to be higher in energy, fat and saturated fat and lower in fibre. Salt was higher in ready meals. The authors suggest moving celebrity chef programs to after the 9pm watershed in line with advertising of unhealthy foods. 

My view. Key points - 
Encouraging people to cook their own food is still the best way forward and celebrity cooking programs do much to get young people excited about food, cooking and how accessible it is. I do not believe moving these programs later in the day is the right way forward. 
The recipes were picked at random and not all were higher than supermarket meals. Portions also were not the same, with the chef recipes often having bigger portions. Thus this was not a comparison of like for like - a small supermarket vegetable meal could potentially be compared to a larger rich pastry dish. 
However this data does give a gentle nudge to always keep nutrition in the focus too as part of these programs and in recipes books. 
Some food is special occasion fare and can be richer as a treat option and others are for regular suppers - we can't assume that everyone will know which one is which. This is where a quick analysis of recipes with the data for nutritional content included would be useful to give those that are interested in making changes an informed choice to know which to pick or avoid. 
Chefs could include simple tips on how to make some recipes lighter for day to day use with easy swaps such as reducing butter and cream, using more vegetables and low fat yogurts etc. 
Celebrity chefs are perfectly placed to marry the skills of making food look and taste great along with incorporating health and nutrition values. Bringing these two areas together is a powerful mix worth including as part of their entertainment package. 
To see the data from this study click on the link...