From Celebrity Food Shows to Junk Food: 9 Popular Examples of How Popular Food Shows Created Every Day Junk Foods

From Celebrity Food Shows to Junk Food: 9 Popular Examples of How Popular Food Shows Created Every Day Junk Foods

Popular food shows have been entertaining audiences for decades, introducing new culinary trends and inspiring us to try new foods. However, it turns out that some of our favorite foods were not created out of culinary inspiration but rather as a result of popular food shows. Here are eight examples of how popular food shows led to the creation of everyday junk food.

Hot Pockets

The idea for Hot Pockets came to chef Paul Merage when he was watching an episode of “The Tonight Show” starring Johnny Carson. The show featured a segment on the new pizza pockets, and Merage was inspired to create his version of a stuffed sandwich.

KFC Double Down

KFC's Double Down sandwich is a heart attack on a plate, consisting of two chicken fillets instead of bread, with bacon and cheese sandwiched between them. The sandwich was inspired by the TV show "Man v. Food," where host Adam Richman eats various oversized and over-the-top meals.


Doritos were invented in the 1960s after a Disneyland executive saw a street vendor in Mexico selling fried tortilla chips. They were later marketed and popularized through TV commercials and sponsorships of popular shows like "Saturday Night Live." Though this one directly isn't inspired from cooking shows, it does highlight the influence of the culinary world on the creation on one of the most popular and obesogenic foods in the world.

Popcorn Chicken

Made popular by fast-food chains, popcorn chicken actually originated on a popular cooking show called "Ready Steady Cook."

Loaded Fries

While they've been around for a while, loaded fries became more popular thanks to shows like "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." Though they don't share the origins from a cooking show, this example highlights how popular cooking shows can take something simple and blow it out of proportions for the masses.


A cross between a croissant and a donut, the cronut was first introduced on the "Today Show" and has since become a popular dessert item.

Bloomin' Onion

The Outback Steakhouse's famous Bloomin' Onion was inspired by the onion loaf featured on a popular TV show, "Emeril Live." Knocking off the charts, this stuff had 800 calories and about 1.5grams of salt, which doesn't include the sodium and fat heavy sauce!

Chef Boyardee

The popular canned pasta brand was created by Ettore Boiardi, an Italian chef who appeared on a popular TV show called "The Carnation Contented Hour." Boiardi made a big impression on viewers, who started asking him to sell his pasta sauce.

Cup Noodles 

Cup Noodles, the iconic instant noodle cups, were invented in 1971 by Momofuku Ando. Ando was inspired by a TV show where he saw people eating noodles with broth, and he wanted to create a version that could be eaten conveniently with just hot water.

    While these foods, and many more, may be popular, they are not the healthiest options. Above all, notice that many foods that are noticeably considered 'bad' for human health were born in cooking shows or had influences from the culinary world suggesting that a lot of American obesity and chronic diseases begin in popular kitchens.

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