Obesity is on the rise in both children and adults. Recently, a 10 year longitudinal study suggests that family, home-cooked meals which include vegetables, calcium, and whole grains could be prevention against obesity. This 10 year longitudinal study was called Project EAT and colleagues from the University of Minnesota and Columbia used the data from this project and examined weight related variables.
In the study, 51% of the subjects were overweight and 22% were obese. When only looking at participants who reported that they never ate family meals together 60% were overweight and 29% were obese. This was at the 10 year follow-up period.
The researchers found that even having just 1 or 2 family meals together a week during adolescence was significantly correlated with reduced risk of being over weight or obese.
Family meals are no only beneficial to reducing the incidence of obesity but it also allows time for families to form emotional connections and bond with each other, building a stronger family. Today, it is hard to have everyone sit down and have a family meal together but even once a week is better than not doing it at all.
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