With childhood obesity being a growing concern today, and the numbers affected by this lifestyle disorder increasing each day, there is a need for public awareness and strategies that may help prevent the condition.
Now, the results from a new study have revealed how creating a positive and calm atmosphere at home, especially during a friendly family meal, could help prevent children from becoming overweight or obese.
When family meals involve pleasant conversations and positive encouragements, the children were less likely to be involved in activities or eating habits that may cause them to become obese or overweight.
The researchers watched dozens of recordings of family meals for the study- they had asked around 120 families to get their family meals recorded on an iPad, and observed them for the study. They also took into consideration the type of meals that were served, how the parents interacted with their children during the meals, and the duration of the meals.
“In the households where kids were overweight, there was less of a positive atmosphere at the table,” said study author Jerica Berge, a psychologist at the University of Minnesota. “It was a little more chaotic overall.”
The researchers also found that children who had a healthy weight were more likely to have both the parents present during family meals. They speculate that these regular and positive meals together tend to create a sense of stability for the child, which in turn, influences his eating habits.
Hopefully, this new study may turn out to be an inspiration for parents who are concerned about their kid’s eating habits or their risk of being affected by obesity.
The results from the study are published in the journal Pediatrics.