Foodies are thinner and healthier than picky eaters

Foodies love food but they don't overdo it.

Foodies love food but they don't overdo it.  (iStock)

Foodies may constantly be trying out the latest in haute cuisine, but that doesn’t mean they're packing on the pounds. 

A new study from Cornell found that foodies—those who said they ate the most varied and atypical foods—weigh less less and tend to be healthier overall than less adventurous eaters.

The nationwide survey conducted by the school’s Food and Brand Lab analyzed 502 different women. Those that ate a wide variety of foods including kimchi, seitan (wheat gluten), beef tongue and rabbit had a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) and rated themselves as being more physically active and more concerned with the food they consume than those that ate a less varied diet.

“There’s a real advantage to liking and trying a lot more food- it might even mean you have a lot more fun in life,” Brian Wansink, co-author of the study published in the medical journal "Obesity" wrote.

That aspect of fun may translate to being more social.

“They [adventurous eaters] also reported being much more likely to have friends over for dinner,” said lead author Lara Latimer, PhD, formerly at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, now at the University of Texas.

The study authors hope their findings will shed new light on the importance of enjoying a varied diet, and may also help motivate people who want to lose weight but feel bogged down with a boring routine.

“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.

“Instead of sticking with the same boring salad, start by adding something new.”