Examining the relationships between family meal practices, family stressors, and the weight of youth in the family
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BACKGROUND: Research is limited on how the social environment of the home is related to childhood obesity. PURPOSE: The purpose of this research was to examine the relationships between positive family meal practices, family stressors, and the weight of youth and to examine parental weight status as a moderator of these relationships. METHODS: The study enrolled 368 parent/child dyads from a Minnesota sample. We used mediation analysis to examine the associations RESULTS: Families represented by an overweight parent reported fewer positive family meal practices (p < 0.001), higher levels of depression (p = 0.01), and fewer family rules (p = 0.02) as compared to families represented by a healthy weight parent. For overweight parents, positive family meal practices mediated the relationship between some family stressors and child weight. CONCLUSIONS: This research suggests that the home environment may affect the weight of children in the family, and the effect is more pronounced in families with at least one overweight parent.
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