Kids who eat breakie with their parents more likely to have positive body image

Must See 29/03/2019

Eating breakfast isn't just important for starting the metabolism for the day apparently - new research shows that teenagers who eat breakfast with their parents regularly are more likely to have a better overall body image of themselves than those who don't.

The study from the University of Missouri says consistently eating breakfast as a family might promote positive body image for kids and teens:

"We know that developing healthy behaviors in adolescence such as eating breakfast every day and eating family meals can have long-term effects into adulthood. Children and adolescents are under a lot of pressure from social media and pop culture when it comes to physical appearance. Having a healthy relationship with food from eating breakfast and spending meal time with family might have a significant impact on well-being," said Virginia Ramseyer Winter, assistant professor in the School of Social Work and director of the MU Center for Body Image Research and Policy.

Data from more than 12,000 students from more than 300 schools across the US was analyzed, recording eating behaviours including frequency of eating breakfast and eating meals with a parent. 

The researchers found that eating breakfast during the week more frequently was associated with positive body image. Over half the sample reported eating breakfast five days a week, but almost 17% reported never eating breakfast. 

"We know that the health behaviors of a parent can have long-term effects on a child. Results of this study suggest that positive interactions with food— such as eating breakfast and having family meals together— could be associated with body image," Ramseyer Winter said.

Establishing a positive body image is becoming increasingly important these days with social media sites like Instagram pushing 'perfect' images which can influence the way kids and teens see themselves. So eating breakfast as a family could be a great way to combat this.