Monday, 21 January 2013

University of Illinois on top form

From the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences:

When low-income families devote three to four extra minutes to regular family mealtimes, their children’s ability to achieve and maintain a normal weight improves measurably, according to a new University of Illinois study.

"Children whose families engaged with each other over a 20-minute meal four times a week weighed significantly less than kids who left the table after 15 to 17 minutes. Over time, those extra minutes per meal add up and become really powerful," said Barbara H. Fiese, director of the U of I’s Family Resiliency Program.

I thought that stereotypical "low-income families" eat their meals while sitting on the couch watching TV rather than at a table, so how on earth are you going to decide which period was actually "mealtime" as distinct from "snacking"?


Richard Allan said...

Good Lord this is stupid. The children who do best at school come from houses full of books. To ensure your children do better at school, should you buy a load of books? No, you should be the kind of parents who already own a lot of books.

Mark Wadsworth said...

RA, that's your take on it.

Her Indoors and I have tried to be a bit middle class and make the kids stay at the table until everybody has finished (to little avail), but I'm heartened to see that the 20-minute rule actually only applies to "low income families" so in future my kids can leave the table as soon as they like :-)