Eating at the Table is Linked to Less Fat

Here’s something I want to share with my Clayton, MO personal training clients and all of you who have kids: Beyond reducing plate size and counting calories, there may be another strategy for keeping the family at a healthy weight eating together at the dinner table. Families who eat together without the television on and stay seated until everyone has finished have children with lower weights and lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than those who don’t, reports a Cornell behavioral economist in the October issue of Obesity. The association is especially pronounced for boys.

Strong, positive socialization skills during dinners possibly supplant the need to overeat, the researchers explain. Mothers and fathers who talk meaningfully with children about their day during dinner also have lower BMIs. This may also boost self esteem.

“The ritual of where one eats and how long one eats seems to be the largest driver,” say St. Louis certified personal trainers.

Families who eat while watching television can be heavier, the researchers noted. “In fact, eating anywhere other than the kitchen or dining room was related to higher BMIs in both parents and in children,” say the Cornell study authors and Brentwood, MO personal trainers agrees.

“By focusing on family dining rituals, this research departs from the more food-centric approaches,” say the Cornell study authors and St. Louis personal trainers agrees.” Family meals and their rituals might be an under-appreciated battleground to fight obesity

For more information on eating at the table, contact Maurie Cofman, C.E.S., certified personal trainer in St. Louis, Brentwood and Clayton, MO.