Eating breakfast with parents linked with positive body image for teenagers: Study

Washington: A family that eats together, stays together, and now, according to a recent study, consistently eating breakfast as a family can also promote positive body image for children and adolescents.

The study suggests that parents hoping to raise teenagers with positive body image might just find helpful tools in the kitchen every morning.

“We know that developing healthy behaviours in adolescence such as eating breakfast every day and eating family meals can have long-term effects into adulthood. Children and adolescents are under a lot of pressure from social media and pop culture when it comes to physical appearance. Having a healthy relationship with food from eating breakfast and spending meal time with family might have a significant impact on well-being,” said Virginia Ramseyer, one of the lead researchers.

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Researchers analyzed data from more than 12,000 students in more than 300 schools in all 50 states and Washington D.C. They looked at data related to eating behaviours, including frequency of eating breakfast and eating meals with a parent.

The researchers found that eating breakfast during the week more frequently was associated with positive body image. Just over half of the sample reported eating breakfast five days a week; however, nearly 17 per cent reported never eating breakfast. More than 30 per cent reported eating breakfast fewer than five times a week. The researchers also found that boys were more likely to eat breakfast than girls.

Additionally, the researchers found that children were much more likely to have a positive body image if they regularly ate breakfast with a parent.

“We know that the health behaviours of a parent can have long-term effects on a child. Results of this study suggest that positive interactions with food– such as eating breakfast and having family meals together– could be associated with body image,” Ramseyer asserted.


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