Dinner rituals impact child and adult weight, study finds

Gathering at the dinner table isn't just an important way for families to clock in quality time together.

A new study from the Cornell Food & Brand Lab found that the dining environment itself can influence weight in both children and adults.

Mealtime habits

Dr. Brian Wansink and Dr. Ellen van Kleef conducted the study, which examined how family rituals were linked to varying BMI rates in 190 parents and 148 children.

Participants completed a survey that assessed the family's mealtime habits, such as how many days they ate together or how often they discussed what they did during the day.

What the researchers found was that these "dinner rituals" were linked to BMI: The higher the BMI of parents, the more often they ate with the TV on. Lower BMIs were linked to eating at the table in the kitchen or dining room. Girls who were involved in helping prepare dinner were more likely to have higher BMIs, but this didn't hold true for boys. And in families where everyone stayed at the table until each individual was finished eating, boys and parents tended to have lower BMIs.

Implications

The researchers point out that these dinnertime habits don't necessarily affect BMI directly, but it could indicate that more importance should be placed on the daily rituals that surround cooking and meals. The fact that boys who had a more "social" dinner experience tended to have lower BMIs, for example, suggests that family togetherness at meal times might play a larger role in healthy BMIs than previously thought.

"Although the reasons for the links are not clear, family meals and their rituals may be an underappreciated battleground to prevent obesity," a press release on the study stated. "Where one eats and how long one eats seems to be a driver of the weight one gains. Such behavior may be related to less distracted eating or more supervision."

Source: Cornell Food & Brand Lab

More Articles

Diabetic shoes are important as a common side effect of diabetes is "peripheral neuropathy," which causes loss of sensation in the extremities....

There’s something inherently playful about bouncing, which is why so many people enjoy rebounding. Rebounding, or exercising on a mini-trampoline...

Do not let pictures of yoga experts with their bodies twisted into bizarre, compact shapes fool you. Even people with stiff muscles, creaky joints...

One of the hardest parts about adopting a low-carb diet is giving up traditional baked goods and sweets. The good news, however, is that low-carb...

Insulin injections are a way of life for many people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but for some people, they can be a little intimidating at...

More Articles

Insulin injections are a way of life for many people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but for some people, they can be a little intimidating at...

With diabetes, it all used to be really simple: Type 1 diabetes was known as “childhood-onset,” and type 2 was “adult-onset” diabetes. The cause...

There’s something inherently playful about bouncing, which is why so many people enjoy rebounding. Rebounding, or exercising on a mini-trampoline...

Everyone from grandmothers to physicians tout oatmeal's wholesome goodness and health benefits. But, is oatmeal good for diabetics? Limited...

A common complication associated with diabetes is swollen feet. The swelling can...

Stomach aches and other gastrointestinal pains can be signs of a bigger problem. One such problem for diabetics is gastroparesis, or delayed...

Improving your A1C reading requires you to maintain consistently healthy blood...

Diabetic shoes are important as a common side effect of diabetes is "peripheral neuropathy," which causes loss of sensation in the extremities....

You may think beer, wine, and liquor would be categorized as food, but in reality, alcohol is a drug. Just like medications, alcohol has powerful...

While most physicians will tell you that your blood glucose will not be impacted by a flu shot, anecdotally there are reports of increased...

With such a marked increase in the number of new diabetes cases, more people are wondering if type 1 diabetes...

Experts estimate that somewhere in the world a person with diabetes will lose a lower extremity every half minute due to a wound. One of the...

One of the hardest parts about adopting a low-carb diet is giving up traditional baked goods and sweets. The good news, however, is that low-carb...

The medical community relies heavily on the goodwill of its citizens, as giving blood and organ donations help save thousands of lives every year...

There are several misconceptions about Diabetes. Learn more about the top misconceptions vs. facts surrounding Type 2 Diabetes below.

86...