Family Dinners Promote Healthy Eating Habits in Teenagers
But finding that time once a day — even if it’s breakfast together — can be just as effective, the researcher said. For the study, the team looked at more than 2,700 participants, 14 to 24 years of age
Teenagers and young adults having dinners together with their families are more likely to have healthier eating habits than those who eat alone, a new study has revealed. The researchers found that when families sit down together, adolescents and young adults eat more fruits and veggies and consume fewer fast-food.
“It’s a time when families can slow down from their busy days to talk, spend time together and problem-solve. It’s also a time that parents can model healthful eating behaviours,” Walton added. The study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, found that preparing and enjoying a meal together can also help families bond and the meal does not have to be a big drawn-out affair.
“Even if it’s something you pull out of the freezer, add a bagged salad on the side and you’ll have a decent nutritional meal,” said Jess Haines, Professor from the University of Guelph in Canada. Walton said many teenaged and young adults living at home are busy with evening extracurricular activities or part-time jobs, making it hard to find time for dinner with family members.
But finding that time once a day — even if it’s breakfast together — can be just as effective, the researcher said. For the study, the team looked at more than 2,700 participants, 14 to 24 years of age. (IANS)
Dear parents, kindly take note. Researchers have found that healthy eating behaviours in childhood may reduce the risk of, overweight, obesity and cardiovascular disease later in life.
Published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the study focused on providing evidence-based strategies for parents and caregivers to create a healthy food environment for young children that supports the development of positive eating behaviours and the maintenance of a healthy weight in childhood.
Allowing children to choose what and especially how much to eat within an environment composed of healthy options encourages children to develop and eventually take ownership of their decisions about food and may help them develop eating patterns linked to a healthy weight for a lifetime, according to the study authors.
“Parents and caregivers should consider building a positive food environment centred on healthy eating habits, rather than focusing on rigid rules about what and how a child should eat,” said study researcher Alexis C Wood from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, US.
The statement suggests that parents and caregivers should be positive role models by creating an environment that demonstrates and supports healthy food choices, rather than an environment focused on controlling children’s choices or highlighting body weight.
Parents and caregivers should encourage children to eat healthy foods by: providing consistent timing for meals, allowing children to select what foods they want to eat from a selection of healthy choices, serving healthy or new foods alongside foods children already enjoy.
Regularly eating new, healthy foods while eating with the child and demonstrating enjoyment of the food, paying attention to a child’s verbal or non-verbal hunger and fullness cues and avoiding pressuring children to eat more than they wish to eat.
The researchers noted that some parents and caregivers may find it challenging to allow children to make their own food decisions, especially if the children become reluctant to try new foods and/or become picky eaters.
These behaviours are common and considered normal in early childhood, ages 1 to 5 years, as children are learning about the tastes and textures of solid foods.
Imposing rigid, authoritarian rules around eating and using tactics such as rewards or punishments may feel like successful tactics in the short term.
In addition, the authoritarian approach has been linked to children being more likely to eat when they are not hungry and eating less healthy foods that are likely higher in calories, which increase the risk of overweight and obesity and/or conditions of disordered eating.
On the other hand, an indulgent approach, where a child is allowed to eat whatever they want whenever they want, does not provide enough boundaries for children to develop healthy eating habits.
Dear parents, please take note. Researchers have found that teenagers who feel personally empowered are less likely to bully, harass or commit acts of sexual violence.
The study, published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, also found that teens who think their friends support violence prevention and healthy relationships are less likely to mistreat their peers.
“Coping mechanisms that help adolescents thrive and do well, even in the face of stress and adversity, are important to preventing interpersonal violence,” said study lead author Victoria Banyard from Rutgers University in the US.
“This is an important finding, as studies of bullying typically examine risk factors rather than protective factors,” Banyard added.
For the findings, the researchers surveyed a set of 2,232 middle and high school students online during the school year by seeking their level of agreement or disagreement with statements including “If I am feeling sad, I can cheer myself up,” “My opinion is important because it could someday make a difference in my community,” “I work hard now to make a good future for myself,” “I am comfortable being with people who are of a different race than I am,” and others.
They were asked about bullying and harassment, alcohol use, positive social norms related to violence prevention, and a combination of interpersonal strengths.
According to the researchers, the teens were surveyed again six months later.
The findings suggest that bullying, harassment and sexual violence can be reduced when adolescents learn to cope with stress, build community connections, engage with individuals from diverse backgrounds and feel empowered and able to build a positive future.
According to the researchers, adults can help young people develop these strengths. Positive conversations with teens about healthy relationships support the positive social norms we know are important.
Adolescence is a high-risk age for perpetration of different forms of peer-based violence including in-person and online bullying, harassment, racial bullying, and unwanted sexual contact, the researchers explained. (IANS)
Nagging negative thoughts – and striving for perfection – keep teenagers awake at night, raising their chance of becoming depressed and anxious, say lifestyle researchers.
An online study of almost 400 adolescents aged 14 to 20 years confirmed the link, leading researchers at Flinders University in Australia, to recommend alternative treatments for repetitive negative thinking and perfectionism in dealing with delayed sleep and mental health problems among teenagers.
The study, published in the journal Sleep Health,confirmed a link between repeated negative thinking and delayed sleep.
“Repetitive negative thinking is habit forming and it can significantly contribute to making sleep difficult and causing depressed mood in teenagers, who already like to stay up late at night,” said study researcher Michael Gradisar, Professor at Flinders University in Australia.
“This study supports the need to recognise repetitive negative thinking in preventing and treating sleep problems, along with individual differences in perfectionism and mood,” Gradisar added.
According to the researchers, the role of repetitive negative thinking and perfectionism in explaining the link between sleep onset problems and depressed mood has important clinical implications through providing possible treatment targets.
International studies indicates depression affects between three per cent and eigh per cent of adolescents. It is often recurring and may continue to develop into more severe depressive disorders during adulthood.
In teenagers, depression can cause poor concentration, a loss of interest in schoolwork, difficulties in peer relationships, and even suicide, the researchers said.
The researchers stresses that sleep plays an important part in preventing and treating depression in teenagers.
Parents and carers can implement better sleep health by encouraging regular bedtime routines during the school week and weekends, and encouraging mobile phones to be turned off earlier in the evening, according to the study.
According to the researchers, busy lifestyles, stress and screen time makes self-help and accessible resources for better sleep increasingly important. (IANS)