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Highlights from the April 2007 Journal of the American Dietetic Association

CHICAGO The April 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association contains articles and research studies you may find of interest. Below is a summary of some of this month's articles. For more information or to receive a copy of a Journal article, e-mail media@eatright.org.

Positive Effects of Family Dinner Are Undone by TV Viewing

Low-income families with pre-school children tend to eat better when dining together as a family, but less nutritiously when the television is on during dinner, according to researchers at the New York State Department of Health.

More than 1,300 parents of children participating in New York's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children or WIC were surveyed on how many days per week the family ate dinner together; the number of days per week the TV was on during dinner; and how often fruits and vegetables were served.

"Each night the family ate dinner together was positively associated with serving fruits or vegetables," the researchers write. "Serving fruits or vegetables decreased with each night the television was on during dinner."

Other findings include:

  • Hispanic and black parents report having the TV on during dinner more often than white parents.

  • Hispanics and whites ate dinner together more often than black families.

  • Families in which the parent had less than a high school education tended to have the TV on more often.

"Although the effects of family dinner and having the television on during dinner are in opposite directions, it is apparent that having dinner as a family does not overcome the adverse effects of having the television on during mealtime," the researchers write.

"Because dietary habits and preferences are established early in life, parents should be counseled to promote family meal environments that support healthful eating."



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Contact: Jennifer Starkey
media@eatright.org
312-899-4802
American Dietetic Association
3-Apr-2007


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