Family meals help cut obesity

Nov. 1, 2005 at 11:37 PM
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BRISBANE, Australia, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Australian researchers say teenagers who eat meals with their families are less likely to be overweight.

The finding is one of the results of a long-running health study -- the Mater-University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy. Researchers began collecting data on Brisbane mothers and their children in 1981.

Dr. Abdullah Al Mamun from the university's School of Population Health said regular family meals appear to reduce snacking and make for healthier eating habits.

"Eating together will enable the parent to have better knowledge of the child's food choices and amount that they tend to eat," Mamun said.

Researchers found teens with mothers who think family meals are important are less likely to be overweight even when they eat a lot of meals away from home.

The study appears in the latest edition of American journal Obesity Research.

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