Family meals cut teenage fatness

November 01, 2005

They might prefer to be in front of the TV or Playstation, but Brisbane teenagers are likely to be healthier if they eat meals with mum and dad.

University of Queensland researchers working on the world's longest health study found teens who ate regularly with their family were less likely to be overweight.

Lead researcher, Dr Abdullah Al Mamun from UQ's School of Population Health said regular family meals could reduce snacking and make for healthier food and social habits.

"Eating together will enable the parent to have better knowledge of the child's food choices and amount that they tend to eat," Dr Mamun said of the study, which appears in the latest edition of American journal, Obesity Research.

The study found having a healthy maternal attitude to family eating and diet was more important than the frequency of shared meals.

Even though most mothers said they had a family meal at least once a day, only 43 percent of them said eating together was very or quite important.

The findings have been drawn from the world's longest running health study -- the Mater-University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy, which has followed the progress of Brisbane mothers and their families since 1981.

The survey of 3795 mothers and their teenagers was collected in Brisbane when the teenagers were at age 14, in 1995.

It showed about half the families ate red meat most days and one-fourth had fast food most days or two to three times per week.

Even though more than half of the families had children who played sports four to seven days a week about 40 percent still found enough time to watch five or more hours of TV a day.

Dr Mamun's paper was co-written, with Mater and University of Bristol researchers and fellow UQ researcher and Mater Study founder, Professor Jake Najman.

The Mater Study was started in 1981 by Professor Najman as a health and social study of 7223 pregnant women.

Researchers have followed the children's growth over the decades and study was widened to include prenatal, postnatal, childhood and adolescent periods of the child with those babies now in their early 20s.
-end-


Research Australia

Related Health Articles from Brightsurf:

The mental health impact of pandemics for front line health care staff
New research shows the impact that pandemics have on the mental health of front-line health care staff.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

New measure of social determinants of health may improve cardiovascular health assessment
The authors of this study developed a single risk score derived from multiple social determinants of health that predicts county-level cardiovascular disease mortality.

BU study: High deductible health plans are widening racial health gaps
The growing Black Lives Matter movement has brought more attention to the myriad structures that reinforce racial inequities, in everything from policing to hiring to maternal mortality.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

E-health resource improves men's health behaviours with or without fitness facilities
Men who regularly used a free web resource made significantly more health changes than men who did not, finds a new study from the University of British Columbia and Intensions Consulting.

Mental health outcomes among health care workers during COVID-19 pandemic in Italy
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and insomnia among health care workers in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic are reported in this observational study.

Mental health of health care workers in china in hospitals with patients with COVID-19
This survey study of almost 1,300 health care workers in China at 34 hospitals equipped with fever clinics or wards for patients with COVID-19 reports on their mental health outcomes, including symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress.

Health records pin broad set of health risks on genetic premutation
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marshfield Clinic have found that there may be a much broader health risk to carriers of the FMR1 premutation, with potentially dozens of clinical conditions that can be ascribed directly to carrying it.

Attitudes about health affect how older adults engage with negative health news
To get older adults to pay attention to important health information, preface it with the good news about their health.

Read More: Health News and Health 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.