Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Families are 'lovin' it': Parents' work influences how often family meals are eaten outside of home

Date:
May 7, 2011
Source:
Elsevier Health Sciences
Summary:
Americans are spending about half their food budget in restaurants. As it is widely known, food prepared away from home, as compared to food prepared at home, is often higher in calories, saturated fat, and sodium. With children's dietary quality at risk, a study explores the influence of parental styles and work schedules on children's use of and time spent in fast-food and full-service restaurants.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Americans are spending about half their food budget in restaurants. As it is widely known, food prepared away from home, as compared to food prepared at home, is often higher in calories, saturated fat, and sodium. With children's dietary quality at risk, a study in the May/June 2011 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior explores the influence of parental styles and work schedules on children's use of and time spent in fast-food and full-service restaurants.

Investigators from the Department of Sociology, Texas A&M University interviewed parents and children (ages 9-11 and 13-15) from 312 families in Houston, TX. Interview questions measured parental work schedules, parenting style, family meal ritual perceptions, and time children spent in an automobile with their parents. Findings from this study reveal that factors related to more time spent in fast-food and full-service restaurants included both parents having standard work schedules, fathers' use of these types of restaurants, and children's time spent in the family automobile.

A striking finding in the present study is the strong association between the use of and time spent in both fast-food and full-service restaurants by children and use of and time in restaurants by their fathers. Dr. Alex McIntosh, PhD, Professor at Texas A&M University, states, "Since dietary behaviors, like relying on food away from home and eating fast food, have been shown to track from childhood through adolescence into young adulthood, fathers should be encouraged to model healthful food choices when they obtain food and to eat with children at home. After all, fathers who believe that dinner is an important family ritual reduce children's use of fast food; this perception should also be encouraged among fathers."

This study documents the importance of identifying determinants that increase the use of restaurants in families' dining habits. As found in this study, eating out more often can be caused by something as common as both parents working a "9 to 5 job." The researchers emphasize that the "dietary quality of children is influenced by the manner in which parents interact with their children (parenting style), time available for family meals, and the role restaurants play in their lives."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alex McIntosh, Karen S. Kubena, Glen Tolle, Wesley Dean, Mi-Jeong Kim, Jie-Sheng Jan, Jenna Anding. Determinants of Children's Use of and Time Spent in Fast-food and Full-service Restaurants. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2011; 43 (3)

Cite This Page:

Elsevier Health Sciences. "Families are 'lovin' it': Parents' work influences how often family meals are eaten outside of home." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110506073825.htm>.
Elsevier Health Sciences. (2011, May 7). Families are 'lovin' it': Parents' work influences how often family meals are eaten outside of home. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110506073825.htm
Elsevier Health Sciences. "Families are 'lovin' it': Parents' work influences how often family meals are eaten outside of home." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110506073825.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins