If you’re willing to try new foods, chances are you’re healthier and thinner than someone less adventurous–at least, that’s the finding of a new study.
The study, which was carried out by researchers at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, involved more than 500 women, all of whom had a body mass index (BMI) of just under 26. All of the participants said they ate meat, while about half were white, one-quarter black, and one-quarter Hispanic. Participants were from all over the United States.
Researchers asked all of those taking part in the study a wide variety of questions about their eating habits. Researchers also showed participants 16 foods not typically consumed by American adults and then asked if they had ever tried those items. Researchers defined “adventurous” participants as those who had tried 9 of the 16 unique foods, which included items like Kimchi, seitan, and beef tongue.
The finding: the more adventurous participants were more likely to consume a healthier diet and have a physically active lifestyle. Furthermore, those with more adventurous tastes were more likely to express concern about the nutritional value of their food when compared to less adventurous eaters.
Brian Wansink, the study’s co-author, says it’s an important finding that could help us devise more successful strategies for maintaining healthy body weight in children and adults.
“These findings are important to dieters because they show that promoting adventurous eating may provide a way for people–especially women–to lose or maintain weight without feeling restricted by a strict diet,” Wansink said.