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Family meals, adequate sleep and limited TV may lower childhood obesity
Date:2/8/2010

adequate sleep? And what this suggests is that you can't point to any one of these routines. Each one appears to be associated with a lower risk of obesity, and having more of these routines appears to lower the risk further," Anderson said.

That association could be seen even when children were already at higher risk for obesity based on other aspects of their lives, the researchers noted. For example, previous research has shown that children are at higher risk for obesity if their mothers are obese, if their household income is below the poverty level, if their mothers did not finish high school, and if they are growing up in a single-parent home.

All of those predictors of a higher prevalence of obesity in 4-year-olds were seen in this study. But even in these children, the practice of all three household routines appeared to lower the likelihood that they were obese.

She said the research suggests that an approach to obesity prevention that emphasizes these routines might be acceptable to both parents and pediatricians because adopting these practices could enhance child well-being without a need to focus entirely on weight.

The researchers noted that the analysis revealed other important details. Many families already practiced at least two of the routines: 56.6 percent of families had dinner together at least six evenings per week, and 57.5 percent reported that their preschooler slept at least 10 hours per night. TV time was limited to two hours or less among 40.4 percent of families.

On the other hand, some children were obese even when families practiced all three routines a reminder that research based on large populations does not necessarily apply to every individual case.

"Our research suggests these routines may have the opportunity for impact. And they may help families move beyond the discussion of eating and exercise to other aspects of behavior and biology that have potential to be linked to
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Contact: Sarah Anderson
sanderson@cph.osu.edu
614-293-4702
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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