What Do Cooking and Research Have In Common?
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word research? Do you picture a scientist dressed in a white coat and protective eyewear? How about a top-secret laboratory with fancy equipment, test tubes, and chemicals? Certainly, this is an accurate picture of some research.
However, as nutrition scientists, our picture of research is quite different! We study how the food that adolescents eat affects health. The team of “scientists” includes a dietitian and chef. The “laboratory” is a kitchen. The “test tubes” are things such as pots and pans. The “chemicals” are foods with a variety of colors, smells, tastes, and textures.
At Children’s Hospital Boston, we do nutrition research studies to answer many important questions. For example, some of us are asking, “Are some foods better than others for girls who want to lose weight and reduce symptoms of PCOS?” To answer this question, we are inviting teenage girls in the Boston area who have PCOS to be part of a study called the Adolescent Cooking and Eating Study, also known as ACES. Girls who take part in our research study enjoy cooking with an executive chef. They learn to prepare delicious and healthful foods. Yes – in case you are wondering – the girls chop, mix, boil, stir-fry, sauté, roast, steam, and bake. They cook just like the chefs whom you see on the Food Network. Cooking is part of the research!
Why not set a goal for yourself and learn how to cook. Think of your kitchen as your very own research laboratory. You can do cooking experiments (with your parents’ permission) and learn to prepare delicious PCOS healthy foods. Try some of our PCOS-friendly recipes and impress your family and friends with tasty meals and snacks. Happy Cooking!
*If you live in the Boston area, are 13-17, and have PCOS, you may be eligible to take part in ACES. For more information, please call 617-355-2500.
– Dr. Wong & Dr. Ebbeling, Children’s Hospital Boston