Thursday October 24, 2019

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

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Family dinners can promote healthy eating habits in teenagers. Pixabay

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.

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The research has found that family dinners are a great way to improve the dietary intake of the whole family, regardless of how well the family functions together. Pixabay

“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.

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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)

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Time Spent on Social Media May Not Make Teens Depressed: Study

For the study, researchers worked with 500 youth between the ages of 13 and 20, who completed once-yearly questionnaires over an eight-year span

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Social Media use was measured by asking participants how much time they spent on social networking sites on a typical day. Pixabay

The amount of time spent on social media is not directly adding to the anxiety or depression issues in teenagers, say reseachers from Brigham Young University.

The study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, shows that it is not merely the amount of time spent on social media that’s leading to an increase in depression or anxiety among adolescents.

“We spent eight years trying to really understand the relationship between time spent on social media and depression for developing teenagers,” said study author Sarah Coyne, Professor at Brigham Young University in the US.

“If they increased their social media time, would it make them more depressed? Also, if they decreased their social media time, were they less depressed? The answer is no. We found that time spent on social media was not what was impacting anxiety or depression,” Coyne added.

Mental health is a multi-process syndrome, where no one stressor is likely to be the cause of depression or anxiety.

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Time spent on Social Media is not what was impacting anxiety or depression. Pixabay

For the study, researchers worked with 500 youth between the ages of 13 and 20, who completed once-yearly questionnaires over an eight-year span.

Social media use was measured by asking participants how much time they spent on social networking sites on a typical day.

To measure depression and anxiety, participants responded to questions with different scales to indicate depressive symptoms and anxiety levels.

These results were then analysed on an individual level to see if there was a strong correlation between the two variables.

At age 13, adolescents reported an average social networking use of 31-60 minutes per day.

These average levels increased steadily so that by young adulthood, they were reporting upwards of two hours per day.

According to the researchers, this increase of social networking, though, did not predict future mental health. That is, adolescents’ increase in social networking beyond their typical levels did not predict changes in anxiety or depression one year later.

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Social Media use was measured by asking participants how much time they spent on social networking sites on a typical day. Pixabay

Researchers suggest some healthier ways to use social media: Be an active user instead of a passive user. Instead of just scrolling, actively comment, post and like other content.

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Limit social media use at least an hour before falling asleep. Getting enough sleep is one of the most protective factors for mental health, the researchers said. (IANS)