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 August 20, 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 August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Nancy Writebol, an American missionary who contracted Ebola, is apparently getting better, according to her husband. The outbreak, however, is not. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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