Poster Topical Area: Nutrition Translation

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 616

P19-005 - A Comparative Analysis of the Nutritional Content and Cost of Recipes from UK Healthy Food Blogs and Change4Life: An Exploratory Study

Sunday, Jun 10
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Objectives: This study examined 90 recipes from 10 'healthy food blogs' (HFB) authored in the UK and 57 recipes from the Change4Life (C4L) website. The aims were to determine if recipes met UK dietary guidelines as set out in the Eatwell Guide and if recipes were affordable.


Methods:
Ten blogs were selected from the first page of Google results using the terms 'healthy eating blogs' and 'healthy food blogs'. Inclusion criteria were: UK based, no medically prescribed dietary requirements, self identify as healthy, separate recipe section. Nine recipes (3 breakfast, 3 lunch, 3 dinner) from each blog were randomly selected for analysis. All recipes (57) from C4L were also included. Recipes were analysed for nutritional content using DietPlan7. Average daily intakes were calculated for each recipe source using mean nutrient content. Ingredient costs were based on average prices across the Big 4 UK supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Asda). Average daily costs were calculated using mean per-recipe and per-portion costs. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS. Mann-Whitney U tests revealed differences between groups.


Results:
The most significant differences in nutritional content between C4L and HFB occurred in energy (250kcal vs. 357kcal; p<0.001), fat (6.2g vs 17.3g; p<0.001) and saturated fat (1.4g vs. 6.3g; p<0.001) content. The mean sugar content of breakfast recipes from blogs was double that of C4L breakfasts (8.9g vs 4.3; p=.284); while this difference did not reach statistical significance, it is nonetheless worth noting. There was a significant difference between the per-portion cost of C4L and blog recipes (£0.62 vs. £1.44; p<0.001). A theoretical day of meals from C4L cost £2.34 while HFB cost £4.77.


Conclusions:
Neither source adhered perfectly to the guidelines but C4L was a closer fit. Both sources cost more than the current UK average weekly food spend for a family but HFB cost twice as much as C4L. Change4Life recipes are a better resource for families and students while food blogs might be affordable for professional singles and couples. Further research should explore how government recipe sources might make themselves more appealing and how HFB might partner with nutrition professionals to improve the nutritional quality of their recipes.




Funding Source: N/A

CoAuthors: Angeliki Papadaki, MS, PhD – University of Bristol

Katharine V. Powers

Masters Student
University of Bristol
London, England, United Kingdom