Table manners: Talk to your kids at dinner time and keep them fit | health and fitness | Hindustan Times
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Table manners: Talk to your kids at dinner time and keep them fit

The family that eats together, stays together and is fit. Children who have their dinner along with other family members are generally fit and eating meals together can also help kids cut the risk of developing eating disorders or weight problems later in life, say researchers.

health and fitness Updated: Apr 21, 2016 13:35 IST
Researchers say that children whose family members shared meals that lasted at least 20 minutes each a minimum of four times a week weighed significantly less than peers whose family dinners were three or four minutes shorter.
Researchers say that children whose family members shared meals that lasted at least 20 minutes each a minimum of four times a week weighed significantly less than peers whose family dinners were three or four minutes shorter.(Shutterstock)

The family that eats together, stays together and is fit. Children who have their dinner along with other family members are generally fit and eating meals together can also help kids cut the risk of developing eating disorders or weight problems later in life, say researchers.

In a study of 200 families, researchers found that children whose family members shared meals that lasted at least 20 minutes each a minimum of four times a week weighed significantly less than peers whose family dinners were three or four minutes shorter.

Read: Your kids gaining excess weight? Ask them to chew food slowly

Parenting styles, parent-child attachment relationships and feeding practices all have been found to be reliable indicators of children’s food consumption, eating behaviours and risks for obesity.

“Although the causes of obesity are complex, families have significant influence on children’s dietary habits and weight and should be involved in planning healthy living campaigns and efforts to curb food marketing that targets children,” said Barbara H Fiese from the University of Illinois.

Read: Guilty about neglecting parents? See the world from their perspective

“The family system plays an important role in understanding childhood obesity -- not as a source of blame but as part of a larger ecology that may support or derail children’s health,” the researchers stated in the paper published in the journal Family Relations.