Family meals shown to prevent obesity

WNDU

Sitting down around the dinner table as a family is a great way to spend quality time, connect with each other, and of course enjoy a home cooked meal. But new research appearing in the Journal Pediatrics shows it also can help prevent teens from becoming overweight or obese as young adults.

Nearly 2,300 teens were surveyed and then followed up with 10 years later when half were overweight and 22 percent were obese. Those who had had a family meal three to four times a week were half as likely to tip the scale than those who never had family dinner. And, just one or two family meals a week was enough to protect teens from future extra pounds.

It seems family meals are associated with more consumption of fruit and vegetables, calcium and whole grains. These teens are also less likely to binge eat.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18 percent of teens are obese and about 30 percent are overweight.