Ready meals, especially those that are animal-based and cooked in an oven, have lower nutritional quality, higher greenhouse gas emissions and are more expensive than equivalent home-cooked meals

Magaly Aceves Martins, Philippa Denton, Baukje de Roos* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To examine whether ready meals and equivalent homecooked meals differ in nutritional quality indicators, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) and cost.
Design: We performed a cross-sectional analysis of meal data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) nutrient databank (2018/19). Additional data on nutrient composition, cost and cooking-related GHGE were calculated and compared between 54 ready-meals and equivalent home-cooked meals.
Setting: The UK
Participants: Not applicable
Results: Ready meals, overall and those that were animal-based, had significantly higher levels of free sugar compared with equivalent homecooked meals (ppwhereas animal-based oven-cooked ready meals had the highest levels
of GHGE and were most expensive.
Conclusions: Ready meals have lower nutritional quality, higher GHGE and are more expensive than equivalent home-cooked meals, especially those meals that are animal-based and prepared in an oven.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Ready meals
  • home-cooked meals
  • nutritional quality
  • cost
  • GHGE

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