Correlation between family dinner rituals and the Body Mass Index (BMI) of children and parents Essay
Correlation between family dinner rituals and the Body Mass Index (BMI) of children and parents, 499 words essay example
article titled "Dinner rituals that correlate with child and adult BMI" authored by Dr. B Wansink and Dr. E. van Kleef. This article was published in the journal Obesity in 2014. I found this to be a highly interesting and very relevant article given the fast-paced world we live in. With time being a premium in today's world, it is very rare for families to sit at a dining table and have dinner. Children especially eat hastily prepared dinners sitting in front of the television or browsing their iPad's or macbooks and iphones. While typical obesity research is often centered about calorie intake and eating habits, this article by Wansink and van Kleef seems to suggest that the environment in which dinner is consumed itself might contribute in a significant way to your weight and BMI levels. In particular, this study studied the correlation between family dinner rituals and the Body Mass Index (BMI) of children and parents who participated in the study. As we know, the BMI is a popular parameter to characterize obesity measures the ratio of weight to height. While intuitive factors such as physical activity, metabolic rates, genetics, caloric intake, quality of food consumed do influence the BMI, this study was very interesting because it indicated that the lack of dinner rituals in modern day families may also be contributing to the growing obesity issue going on now a days.
For the purposes of this study, parents were asked to complete a set of questions about the family's dinner habits. For instance, families were asked if they engaged in any conversation about how their children's day at school was or conducted similar conversation. Once the set of questions was answered, the family members' weight and height (for BMI calculation) were recorded.
The study found that the dinner practices that families participated in connected well with the BMIs of both the children as well as the parents. It was found that families who ate either at the dining table or in the kitchen had much lower BMIs compared to families who eat dinner elsewhere like in front of the TV. In addition, the frequency of eating with the TV on indicated a higher BMI. Girls who helped with preparation of meals also tended to have higher BMI compared to girls who did not. A similar correlation was absent amongst boys. In addition, boys and parents who engaged in conversation with their parents and stayed at the table till everyone was done eating also exhibited lower BMIs. Sometimes correlation does not imply causation and hence the statistic about girls who helped with preparation of dinners having a higher BMI may not immediately make sense. It may be that girls who like food and eat more may want an active role in the preparation of dinner. It might also mean that the sample size was not big enough and this resulted in a correlation where there is actually none. Nonetheless, the other results from this study are very revealing.