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Eating breakfast as a family could boost children’s body image – The Jakarta Post

New US research has found that regularly eating breakfast together as a family could help promote a positive body image for children and teenagers.

Carried out by researchers at the University of Missouri, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Washburn University, the new large-scale study included 12,642 students across the USA who were asked to record how often they ate breakfast, how often they ate meals with a parent, and their eating habits in general.

The findings, published in the journal Social Work in Public Health, showed that just over 50% of students reported eating breakfast five days a week, and more than 30% reported eating breakfast less than five times a week.

Nearly 17% reported never eating breakfast and boys were more likely to eat breakfast than girls.

Read also: Four ways parents can help kids and teens get a better night’s sleep

In addition, the team also found that children and teens who ate breakfast during the week were more likely to have a positive body image, especially if they regularly ate breakfast with a parent.

“We know that developing healthy behaviours in adolescence such as eating breakfast every day and eating family meals can have long-term effects into adulthood,” said study author Virginia Ramseyer Winter.

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.”

“We know that the health behaviors of a parent can have long-term effects on a child,” adds Ramseyer Winter. “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.”