Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Regular Family Meals Can Help Reduce Childhood Obesity

"Regular family meals improve children’s nutrition, reduce the risk of childhood obesity, and encourage healthy eating habits, a study suggests."

"The results show children and adolescents who share at least three family meals per week are more likely to be a healthy weight and less likely to have disordered eating (an early sign of potential eating disorders) than those who shared mealtimes less frequently."

"Overall, families that eat 5 or more meals together have children who are ~25% less likely to encounter nutritional health issues than children who eat [less than or equal to] 1 meal with their families," write researcher Amber J. Hammons, PhD, of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and colleagues in Pediatrics. "Shared family meals seem to operate as a protective factor for overweight, unhealthy eating, and disordered eating."

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