Celebrity chefs are "exacerbating" public health nutrition issues in the UK by driving people to eat unhealthy meals, new research has warned.
According to a new study, which tested more than 900 recipes from 26 celebrity cookbook authors, almost nine out of 10 (87%) of the dishes fell "substantially short" of the Government's healthy-eating recommendations.
The survey, published in the Food and Public Health journal, found that many celebrity chefs' recipes contained "undesirable levels" of saturated fatty acids, sugars and salt. Only 13% were inline with Food Standards Agency guidelines, the report added.
The study comes just months after a separate survey, from the Newcastle University published in the British Medical Journal, found that recipes by TV chefs, including Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nigella Lawson, were unhealthiser than supermarket ready meals.
However, researchers from Coventry University, who compiled the current report, declined to name the worst-offending chefs citing "professional practice protocols".
Lead author Dr Ricardo Costa, a senior lecturer in dietetics at Coventry University, said: "Given the level of trust the public tends to place in the nutritional integrity of these cooks' recipes, it's important to highlight where they're falling short of healthy-eating benchmarks.
"When you have celebrity chefs involved with promoting many of the government's healthy-eating initiatives, you inevitably encourage a culture of confidence in their culinary practices. I think there ought to be a tightening up of regulation around what these chefs can present on their own terms when it comes to nutrition or healthy-eating messages."