Frequent Family Dinners Associated With Healthier Youth Diets No Matter How Well Family Functions

Bottom Line: More frequent family dinners were associated with more healthful eating by adolescents and young adults, regardless of the level of family functioning in managing daily routines, communicating and connecting emotionally. This study used data from 2,728 teenagers and young adults (14 to 24) living at home with their parents and included details on the frequency of family meals, foods eaten and levels of family functioning. Frequent family meals were associated with eating more fruits and vegetables and less fast food and takeout food for young people in both high-functioning and low-functioning families. The findings suggest family dinners are a good way to encourage more healthful eating in adolescents and young adults.

Authors:  Kathryn Walton, Ph.D., R.D., University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, and coauthors


To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.5217 )