Family Dinners May Combat Childhood Obesity, Study Shows

Family meals may be a useful tool to combat childhood obesity

Dietitians Association of Australia reported that family meals can help prevent childhood obesity.

The association said that kids who are present in family meals on a regular basis are more likely to develop healthy eating habits and eat healthier food, like fruits and vegetables, whole grains and food that are rich in calcium. These children are also less likely to drink carbonated drinks unlike other children their age who do not have meals regularly with their families.

Lisa Renn, spokesperson of Dietitians Association of Australia, said that meals with the family promote slower eating habits.

Since the brain takes 20 minutes to know that the stomach is full, eating slowly can help in preventing eating more than what can make the stomach full. Furthermore, family meals often serve healthier food that helps trim down childhood obesity.

Desserts served at home and homemade versions of fast food meals like pizza and burgers can be made with healthier ingredients, thus providing not only a cheap alternative to fast food desserts and meals but also healthier ones.

Renn recommended at least having five family meals on a weekly basis but acknowledged the difficulty of doing this especially for families who have a busy schedule. The DAA spokesperson insisted that planning is the secret to achieving this goal.