Teenagers who eat with their parents are up to 35% less likely to have eating disorders

Daily Mail (UK) 13th July 2011

Teenagers who switch off the TV and sit down to family meals are less likely to suffer eating disorders. A study has credited eating together with lower rates of bulimia and anorexia. Meals are also less likely to be skipped, and adolescents used to eating round the table are less likely to take up smoking to lose weight. Researcher Barbara Fiese said: ‘The common belief is that teens don’t want to be around their parents very much, and that teens are just too busy for regular meals with the family. Happy families: Teenagers who eat with their parents are likely to be more connected, making conversations about bad diet and dangerous eating habits less awkward ‘Parents may not be able to get their families together around the table seven days a week, but if they can schedule three family meals a week, they will safeguard their teens’ health in significant ways. Professor Fiese spoke out after reviewing 17 studies on eating patterns and nutrition involving almost 200,000 children and teenagers. She found that teens who eat at least five meals a week with their families are 35 per cent less likely to be ‘disordered eaters’.