Are family meal patterns associated with overall diet quality during the transition from early to middle adolescence?

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: To examine longitudinal associations of participation in regular family meals (>or= 5 meals/week) with eating habits and dietary intake during adolescence. DESIGN: Population-based, longitudinal study (Project EAT: Eating Among Teens). Surveys were completed in Minnesota classrooms at Time 1 (1998-1999) and by mail at Time 2 (2003-2004). SETTING: Baseline surveys were completed in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, schools and by mail at follow-up. PARTICIPANTS: 677 adolescents (303 males and 374 females) who were in middle school at Time 1 (mean age = 12.8 +/- 0.74 years) and high school at Time 2 (mean age = 17.2 +/- 0.59 years). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Dietary intake, frequency of meals, and fast-food intake patterns. ANALYSIS: Generalized linear modeling stratified by gender and adjusted for race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and the Time 1 outcome. RESULTS: Regular family meals were positively associated with Time 2 frequency of breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals for males and breakfast and dinner meals for females. Among males, regular family meals were negatively associated with Time 2 fast-food intake. Regular family meals were also positively associated with Time 2 mean daily intakes of vegetables, calcium-rich food, fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, folate, and vitamins A and B(6) among both genders. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Regular family meals during early adolescence may contribute to the formation of healthful eating habits 5 years later. Parents should be made aware of the importance of shared mealtime experiences.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Burgess-Champoux, TL; Larson, N; Neumark-Sztainer, D; Hannan, PJ; Story, M

Published Date

  • March 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 41 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 79 - 86

PubMed ID

  • 19304252

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-2620

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jneb.2008.03.113


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States