Eating meals with family helps adolescents maintain healthy dietary habits

March 13, 2000

Nine to 14 year olds who frequently ate dinner with their families had healthier dietary patterns than those who reported fewer family dinners, according to an article appearing in the March issue of the Archives of Family Medicine, a member of the Journal of the American Medical Association family of journals.

The researchers surveyed 7,525 boys and 8,677 girls aged 9 to 14 years who were the children of participants in the on-going Nurses' Health Study II, to examine the association between frequency of eating dinner with family and measures of diet quality.

The researchers found family dinner to be associated with higher consumption of fruits and vegetables and several beneficial nutrients, including fiber, folate, calcium, iron, vitamins B6, B12, C and E. They also observed lower consumption of saturated fats, soda, fried foods, and foods that raise blood sugar levels. The researchers determined that adolescents who joined their families for meals were not likely to increase potentially harmful intakes of whole dairy foods, snack foods, and red and processed meats.

"Based on the results of this study, health professionals may support the efforts of family members to eat together as a means for improving the quality of diet among older children and adolescents," the authors conclude. The researchers believe that eating family dinners could lead to the consumption of fewer, less healthful ready-made dinners.

This research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md., and by Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, Boston. Dr. Gillman is a Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Faculty Physician Scholar.
-end-
(Arch Fam Med. 2000;235-240)

To contact lead author Matthew W. Gillman, MD, from Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Boston, call John Lacey at 617/432-0441. For more information about the journal or to obtain a copy of the study, contact the AMA's Amy Jenkins at (312) 464-4843, or send email to amy_fox@ama-assn.org .

Posted by the Center for the Advancement of Health < http://www.cfah.org >. For information about the Center, call Petrina Chong, < pchong@cfah.org > (202) 387-2829.

Center for Advancing Health

Related Diet Articles from Brightsurf:

What's for dinner? Dolphin diet study
More evidence has emerged to support stricter coastal management, this time focusing on pollution and overfishing in the picturesque tourist waters off Auckland in New Zealand.

Can your diet help protect the environment?
If Americans adhere to global dietary recommendations designed to reduce the impact of food production and consumption, environmental degradation could be reduced by up to 38%, according to a new paper published in the journal Environmental Justice.

Diet may help preserve cognitive function
According to a recent analysis of data from two major eye disease studies, adherence to the Mediterranean diet - high in vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil -- correlates with higher cognitive function.

Diet quality of young people in US
This observational study used national survey data from young people up to age 19 to estimate the overall diet quality of children and teens in the United States and to explore how diet quality has changed from 1999 to 2016.

The keto diet can lead to flu-like symptoms during the first few weeks on the diet
A ketogenic diet can lead to several flu-like symptoms within the first few weeks on the diet.

Reconstructing the diet of fossil vertebrates
Paleodietary studies of the fossil record are impeded by a lack of reliable and unequivocal tracers.

Your gums reveal your diet
Sweet soft drinks and lots of sugar increase the risk of both dental cavities and inflammation of the gums -- known as periodontal diseases -- and if this is the case, then healthy eating habits should be prioritized even more.

Poor diet can lead to blindness
An extreme case of 'fussy' or 'picky' eating caused a young patient's blindness, according to a new case report published today [2 Sep 2019] in Annals of Internal Medicine.

New research on diet and supplements during pregnancy and beyond
The foods and nutrients a woman consumes while pregnant have important health implications for her and her baby.

Special issue: Diet and Health
Diet has major effects on human health. In this special issue of Science, 'Diet and Health,' four Reviews explore the connections between what we eat and our well-being, as well as the continuing controversies in this space.

Read More: Diet News and Diet Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.