Family meals essential for children?s health, says study

By TNT Bureau

Nov 24, 2015: According to a Canadian research, eating with family helps in health development among children. The findings that were presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Toronto on October revealed that eating alone is characterized by high body mass index (BMI) and other cardiovascular risk issues among children between 14 ? 15 years old.

The research scanned around 14,280 ninth graders and measured their weight, cholesterol, height, blood pressure and waist circumference. The students were also questioned on their daily eating habits, including whether they ate meals with family members on a regular basis or not.

The reports showed that teens who ate meals with family members 6 or 7 times a week had BMI around 4 percentile points lower than those children who ate alone. BMI of those who ate meals with family 4 or 5 times a week tended to fall in between. Further, the report revealed that frequent family dinners is associated with low blood pressure and cholesterol.

Dr Michael Khoury, practitioner at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto said, ?Family meals are typically more nutritious and balanced than what kids might eat on their own, which might explain why kids who eat with family more often are healthier. It may also be good for later health to establish healthy eating patterns early on?.

He added, ?Cardiovascular risk factors track into adulthood. Kids who have problems are far more likely to have problems as adults.”

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