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Eating at home could help you live longer

health-and-fitness Updated: May 27, 2012 00:25 IST

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Wondering whether to dine out or eat at home? A new study gives you a good reason to do the latter. A research team, comprised of Taiwanese and Australian researchers, concluded that eating a home-cooked meal five times a week could add years to your life.

According to the findings of the study published last week in Public Health Nutrition, a Cambridge University journal, subjects who cooked at home about five times a week were 47% more likely to still be alive after 10 years.

“Cooking is a healthy behaviour,” said lead author Professor Mark Wahlqvist, adding, “It deserves a place in life-long education, public health policy, urban planning, and household economics.”

The 10-year study involved 1,888 men and women over 65 years, who had lived in Taiwan. At the start of the study, they interviewed each participant about lifestyle factors, including cooking habits, shopping habits, diet, education, transportation, and smoking. Factors, besides cooking, that added longevity were grocery shopping, taking public transportation, refraining from smoking, and well, being a woman!

Research shows that children who have regular meals with their parents do better in school and have healthier relationships. They are 42% less likely to drink, 50% less likely to smoke, and 66% less likely to smoke marijuana, as cited by Mark Hyman, physician and New York Times best-selling author, for The Huffington Post.

Hyman also advises that you start your eat-at-home plan by reclaiming your kitchen: filling your pantry and refrigerator with fresh local foods and toss foods with high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats or sugar as the first or second ingredient on the label, he writes.

Experts also claim that making cleaning a group activity, setting a fixed dinnertime and switching off phones and televisions during meals are also great habits. Finally.