Derived from 17 previous studies, researchers found that, "youngsters who joined family members regularly for meals were 24% more likely to eat healthy foods than kids who rarely ate with their families. They were also less likely to suffer from eating disorders," reports US News Health.
Amber Hammons, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as the study lead author for the findings that were recently published in May 2 issue of Pediatrics wanted to find if there was a relationship between family and nutrition.
Verdict: Yes and here are some of the findings:
3 or more meals with the family
- 12% less likely to be overweight
- 20% less likely to eat sweets, fried foods, pop, and other junk foods
5 or more meals with the family
- 25% less likely to practice poor nutritionn habits
The study suggests that eating with the family serves as protective benefits for children, but the reasons are unclear.
Families play important roles in children's lives. Most kids actually see their parents as their role models the article says, which could be a reason why there is a positive link between families and nutrition. Think of the potential the positive link has. If a child's parents helped him be more involved by growing and picking produce from the family organic garden, cooking, and sitting down to enjoy the work all of them put in, can you imagine the benefits? Not only would the child be more involved, he could also learn about good nutrition during the process.
I think the benefits can be two fold too. Parents can pack a lunch for the next school day made from leftovers, (because who doesn't want leftovers of a meal made from love? I don't think those people even exist...), which could continue the suggestions made by the study and lessen the chances of childhood obesity.
Read the original article yourself here.