A Begrudging Hat Tip to the Foodie - Pacific Standard

A Begrudging Hat Tip to the Foodie

Is an adventurous eater also a healthier one?
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Ethiopian vegetarian sampler plate. (Otokimus/Shutterstock)

Ethiopian vegetarian sampler plate. (Otokimus/Shutterstock)

If, like me, you cringe at the mention of the word "foodie"—that nagging term, which evokes images of loud and proud "exploratory" eaters, along with their inevitably sepia-toned Instagram shots—then close this tab, burn your computer even. For this is indeed a post about foodies. What’s worse, this is a post about the merits of the foodie; according to new research, adventurous eaters might be healthier than their more gastronomically skittish counterparts.

In a new study published in the journal Obesity, a research team surveyed 501 (non-vegetarian) women about their eating practices. Researchers analyzed adventurous eating habits through a series of questions, asking the women if they’d eaten foods ranging from seitan and Kimchi to rabbit and polenta. Respondents were then required to self-report their height, weight, and body mass index, as well as their satisfaction with their weight.

Terminology be damned, adventurous eaters identified as healthier eaters, being more physically active, and having "higher levels of cooking to connect with their heritage," the researchers write. Another interesting tidbit: Foodies "had higher means on hosting friends for dinner ... and [a] pattern of trying new foods that are recommended by friends," according to the study authors. It seems I’m alone, then: People really like self-proclaimed foodies (and, by extension, probably really dislike me).

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