Childhood obesity in low-income families is a complex problem with many contributing factors. Some of these may include being part of a single-parent family, having a mother who has little education, and living in a poor neighborhood without easy access to healthy foods.
But a recent study from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign finds that— even as these risk factors accumulate—low-income families who ensure their children participate in regular high-quality family mealtimes featuring positive interaction between family members showed a difference in their weight status.
Quality of interaction mattered along with socio-economic factors. Families who said that shared mealtimes are an important part of family life and have special meaning for them were less likely to have an obese child. And families who talked more together and interacted more positively during the meal were more likely to have healthy-weight children.
Can satisfying children's emotional appetite help reduce their physical appetite?