Saturday, August 27, 2016

Breakfast, lunch and dinner among school kids across Europe

In a study just published in Preventive Medicine, with Dr. Froydis Vik as first author, we aimed to assess (i) the prevalence of having regular family breakfast, lunch, dinner among 10–12 year olds in Europe, (ii) the association between family meals and child weight status, and (iii) potential differences in having family meals according to country of residence, gender, ethnicity and parental levels of education.
7716 children (mean age: 11.5 ± 0.7 years, 52% girls) in eight European countries (Belgium, Greece, Hungary, The Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland) participated in a cross-sectional school-based survey in 2010, as part of the ENERGY study. Data on family meals were self-reported by the parents and children's height and weight were objectively measured to determine overweight status.
The prevalence of regular family meals was 35%, 37% and 76% for breakfast, lunch and dinner respectively. Having regular family breakfast, but not lunch or dinner, was inversely associated with overweight. Children of higher educated parents were more likely to have regular family breakfast and less likely to have regular family lunch compared to children of lower educated parents.