Examining the relationships between family meal practices, family stressors, and the weight of youth in the family

Leslie A. Lytle, Mary O. Hearst, Jayne Fulkerson, David M. Murray, Brian Martinson, Elizabeth Klein, Keryn Pasch, Anne Samuelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Research is limited on how the social environment of the home is related to childhood obesity. Purpose: The purpose of this research was to examine the relationships between positive family meal practices, family stressors, and the weight of youth and to examine parental weight status as a moderator of these relationships. Methods: The study enrolled 368 parent/child dyads from a Minnesota sample. We used mediation analysis to examine the associations Results: Families represented by an overweight parent reported fewer positive family meal practices (p∈<∈0.001), higher levels of depression (p∈=∈0.01), and fewer family rules (p∈=∈0.02) as compared to families represented by a healthy weight parent. For overweight parents, positive family meal practices mediated the relationship between some family stressors and child weight. Conclusions: This research suggests that the home environment may affect the weight of children in the family, and the effect is more pronounced in families with at least one overweight parent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-362
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2011

Keywords

  • Family meal practices
  • Family stressors
  • Youth weight

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