Did you know that the dining environment itself is an influencer of your weight status? This is the finding of a recent study by Dr. Brian Wansink and Dr. Ellen van Kleef, who examined the relationship between everyday family dinner rituals and the BMI of 190 parents and 148 children. The body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat that compares weight to height.
Studies have shown that lifestyle factors such as physical activity, eating breakfast every day and income are associated with this frequently used measure of weight status.
Parents participating in the study completed a questionnaire regarding the whole family’s mealtime habits. They were asked a broad range of questions concerning how many days they engage in mealtime activities, such as discussing their day, during a typical week. After filling in the questionnaire, the weight and height of both parents and children were recorded.
These ‘dinner rituals’ correlated with both the parents and the child’s BMI’s. The higher the BMI of parents, the more frequent they indicated to eat with the TV on. Eating at the table in the dining room or kitchen was linked to lower BMIs for both children and parents. Girls who helped parents prepare dinner were more likely to have a higher BMI, but there is no such relationship among boys. Yet boys who had a more social dinner experience tended to have lower BMI, especially in families where everyone stayed at the table until everyone finished eating. This proved true in parents as well.
The link between BMI and these dinner-time habits does not necessarily mean that one thing leads directly to another. A heavier girl who helps out with dinner might want an active role in dinner, for example. What is important, however, is that these results underline the importance of the social aspect of sharing a meal as a family on BMI, since watching television, for example, correlated with higher BMI in the parents. These interactions may replace overeating with stronger, more positive feelings.
Although the reasons for the links are not clear, family meals and their rituals may be an underappreciated battleground to prevent obesity. 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. If you want to strengthen your family ties and, at the same time keep a slimmer figure, consider engaging in a more interactive dinner experience. A good place to start would be to eat together with the television off and then asking the kids to list their highlights of the day. After all, the dinner table does not just have to be a place where food gets eaten!
Sandra Cuellar | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences