Objective: To examine the relationship between diet quality and frequency of family meals throughout childhood and adolescence.
Methods: Cross-sectional study of children ages birth through 17 years (n = 1,992) using data from the 2010 North Carolina Child Health and Monitoring Program. Multiple logistic regression was used to estimate the associations between family meals and fruit intake, vegetable intake, and sugar-sweetened beverage intake among younger children, older children, and adolescents.
Results: In adjusted analyses, participating in ≥ 5 family meals/wk was associated with less sugar-sweetened beverage intake among younger (OR 2.04; CI 1.06-3.93) and older children (OR 2.12; 95% CI 1.27-3.55), greater vegetable intake among older children (OR 1.87; 95% CI 1.08-3.24) and adolescents (OR 1.81; 95% CI 1.14-2.88), and greater fruit intake among adolescents (OR 2.11; 95% CI 1.40-3.19).
Conclusions and implications: Strategies to encourage families to establish regular family meals early in life and continue them throughout childhood and adolescence is warranted.
Keywords: adolescents; children; diet quality; family meals.
Copyright © 2014 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.