A family meal a day may keep obesity away

A family meal a day may keep obesity away

We can never say enough about the importance of eating organic foods. Fresh organic foods are packed with antioxidants and unique nutrients that boost the immune system.

Rates of adolescent obesity and likelihood of obesity to carry over into adulthood are increasing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.”

New research shows that family meals, which include fruits, vegetables, calcium, and other important nutrients, could help prevent obesity.

The new study was published in The Journal of Pediatrics, and examined whether frequent family meals are protective against adolescent and adulthood obesity.

Jerica M. Berge, PhD, MPH, LMFT, CFLE, and a research team from the University of Minnesota and Columbia University used data from a 10-year longitudinal study (2,287 subjects), Project EAT (Eating and Activity among Teens), to analyze weight-related factors among adolescents. Some of factors include physical activity, diet, and weight control behaviors).

Participants were interviewed to assess frequency of family meals and body mass index. “It is important to identify modifiable factors in the home environment, such as family meals, that can protect against overweight/obesity through the transition to adulthood,” explained Berge.

Fifty-one percent of the subjects were overweight and 22% were obese. Out of the adolescents who never ate family meals together, 60% were overweight and 29% were obese after a 10-year follow up. Overall, even having as few as 1-2 family meals per week during adolescence, were significantly associated with reduced odds of obesity compared to those who never ate family meals.

Family meals may be protective against obesity because they provide emotional connections, more healthful foods, and the exposure to healthy eating habits. “Informing parents that even having 1 or 2 family meals per week may protect their child from overweight or obesity in young adulthood would be important,” said Dr. Berge.

AS ALWAYS: Check with your health practitioner before you change your diet. Organic foods are not meant to replace any treatment or drugs you are taking.

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1. “A Family Meal a Day May Keep Obesity Away.” AlphaGalileo. Elsevier, 03 Oct. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2014.

2. “The Protective Role of Family Meals for Youth Obesity: 10-Year Longitudinal Associations.” The Journal of Pediatrics. The Journal of Pediatrics, 30 Apr. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2014.

3. “Childhood Obesity Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Aug. 2014. Web. 08 Oct. 2014.

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