Teens Can’t Cook and Don’t Care, According to Research

By Mike Pomranz |

© Chris Laakko

Despite what MasterChef Junior tries to drill into us Tuesday nights at 8, most kids are not sweating away in the kitchen making pistachio macarons or Chilean sea bass. According to a new study, the youth of today can’t cook—and they don’t care.

The study, published in the Journal of Public Health, looked at 40 young people—28 males and 12 females—between the ages of 16 and 20 years old who live in the northeast of England and asked them about their food behaviors. What it found is that these teens seem to have a very liberal definition of what it means to cook.

Much of their cooking was described as “jar-based,” with the microwave being one of the most used kitchen appliances. Researchers also found that a popular “home-cooked” meal was cheese on toast.

Eating at home wasn’t the only problem. The paper also said, “McDonald’s was considered to be healthy by one participant because it served salads.”

But it’s fine, according to these misguided teens: There’s no reason to bother about what you eat, because some participants believed that exercise would compensate for all their poor eating habits. Oh, and for their smoking as well.

Though the results of the study certainly are a little bit sad, they are far from shocking. Next up: a paper on how the music teens listen to isn’t as good as the music researchers like.

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