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J Am Diet Assoc. 2007 Apr;107(4):666-71.

Positive effects of family dinner are undone by television viewing.

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1
Nutrition Science Department, The Sage Colleges, Troy, NY, USA.

Abstract

The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to test the independent associations of eating dinner as a family and having the television on during dinner with child feeding behaviors. Parents/guardians of children participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children in New York state were surveyed (n=1,336). Main outcome variables were frequencies of serving fruits, vegetables, and milk. Main exposure variables were the number of days per week the family ate dinner together and the number of days per week the television was on during dinner. Multiple logistic regressions assessed the association between the exposure variables and each of the main outcome measures controlling for race/ethnicity and parental educational attainment. Each night the family ate dinner together was positively associated with serving fruits (odds ratio [OR]=1.14, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.07 to 1.21) or vegetables (OR=1.15, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.23). Serving fruits (OR= 0.95, 95% CI 0.91 to 0.99) or vegetables (OR=0.94, 95% CI 0.90 to 0.98) decreased with each night the television was on during dinner. Neither family dinner nor television on during dinner was significantly associated with serving milk. Family dinners and dinners without television on are independent predictors of servings of fruits or vegetables offered to preschool children. Because dietary habits and preferences are established early in life, parents should be counseled to promote family meal environments that support healthful eating.

PMID:
17383273
DOI:
10.1016/j.jada.2007.01.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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