The Need for Family Meals

University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association (Impact Factor: 3.92). 03/2006; 106(2):218-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.jada.2005.12.023
Source: PubMed
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    • "In addition, parents also control environmental factors in the household (Agras and Mascola 2005; Gillman et al. 2000; Spear 2006). Several studies suggest that the weight status of children may be influenced by these environmental factors, such as TV-watching and playing video games (Dietz 1991; Storey et al. 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: This research uses experimental economics to measure the effect of parental generosity and child response on childhood overweight and obesity. The ‘Carrot-Stick’ experiment, an adaptation of the standard dictator game in which the respondent (the child) can punish or reward the dictator (the parent) based on the dictator’s generosity, served as basis of our examination. Two treatments are conducted, in which the child spends his or her earnings on non-food and food items. Our empirical analysis shows significant relationships between parental weight and their level of generosity regarding food items. We conclude that child response behavior, obesigenic factors in the household, and the child’s tendency toward being overweight and obese are significantly related.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2007
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    ABSTRACT: Title: The family meal: somewhat more than eating together The family can exert a strong influence on children's diet and eating behaviors, which, in turn, may have an impact on their weight status. Since the dawn of time, the dining table has been the nexus of family interaction. The simple act of sharing meals solidifies the family identity and family ties by modeling a wide range of learned behavioural patterns. One of the groups most affected in this respect are adolescents. Researchers have shown that family meals are associated with improved dietary intake. A higher frequency of family meals is associated with a greater intake of fruits, vegetables, grains and calcium-rich products, and negatively associated with consumption of fried foods and soft drinks. Family meals have also been shown to contribute to the development of regular eating habits and positive psychosocial functioning and to improvements in language and literacy. In addition, family meals have been associated with reduced risk-taking behav- iours such as smoking and alcohol and drug use, as well as better school performance.
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