Sharing a simple meal each day might boost children’s self-esteem according to a new study.
Children’s mental health is an important aspect of overall health, and increasing research in this field has shone a light on significant factors that can impact on children’s mental health and self-esteem. However, something as seemingly small as family mealtime might have a significant impact on children’s self-esteem according to recent research.
A Canadian study has reported on meal-time habits and the potential for affecting children’s self esteem. The researchers conducted a survey of over 4,000 grade 5 students, which included information on their meal-time habits. These details included whether they tended to have a family supper, whether they tended to eat while watching tv, eat alone, or skip meals.
The researchers then used statistical methods to determine whether there was any association between meal-time habits and children’s self esteem, while also accounting for other factors that might influence the results, such as lifestyle or socioeconomic factors.
The researchers found that the more times per week the children reported eating supper while watching tv or alone, the greater the chances were of these children having low self-esteem. Family suppers were also associated with greater self-esteem, while skipping meals was associated with low self-esteem in children.
Katherine F Eckert, Mark Asbridge, Leslie Anne Campbell, Sam Stewart, Mark Bennett, Olivia K Loewen, Paul J Veugelers, Leah E Cahill, Meal regularity is associated with self-esteem among grade 5 children, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, nqaa321, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa321
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