British researchers have found the average recipes of celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson are not as healthy as a ready-to-cook meal bought from a supermarket.
They say nutritional information should be included in cookbooks and restrictions should be placed on which foods can be cooked for television programs.
The same study showed both forms of meals did not meet global standards to avoid diseases.
The researchers from Newcastle University used five cookbooks for their analysis, including one by Lawson and one by Oliver.
The cookbook recipes were compared with 100 randomly selected meals bought off supermarket shelves.
The researchers found the recipes of the TV chefs included much more energy, protein, fat and saturated fat.
Simon Bryant, a chef from Adelaide who has appeared on ABC television, says television chefs influence what people cook in their homes.
He says because of that, chefs have a responsibility to provide healthy recipes.
"Unfortunately food's entered this era of the cult of personality of chefs...
and they do have great influence over us," he said.
"Some of the shows have got big followings and that's good, and some of the shows have got some really good food.
"But a lot of chefs are under this incredible pressure to produce these amazing meals and one way to produce amazing flavours is salt, fat, sugar.
"So in a way I can see why chefs sometimes their recipes might be a little bit heavily driven on some of that stuff, because the public expectation is to be blown away when they eat in a restaurant." 'Chefs as entertainment' Orla Hugueniot, who has worked in the UK and is now with Nutrition Australia, says the research is relevant to Australia.
"As a nutritionist I would view the programs and the books from celebrity chefs as entertainment and not as the sole route of helping oneself achieve a healthy balanced diet," she said.
"The authors themselves are calling for nutritional information to be displayed in cookbooks as an example.
I think that's a sensible way forward.
"But I think to say that authorities should consider regulating recipes demonstrated by television chefs for the likes of kind of high fat, high sugar, high salt - and having advertising restrictions on these - to my mind, based on one study, is a step too far." The study also says no recipe from a television chef or any ready-to-cook meal met World Health Organisation guidelines on avoiding diseases caused by diet.
The authors say the best nutrition comes from cooking at home with raw ingredients.
The study was published in the British Medical Journal.