Information regarding associations between types of away-from-home family meal sources and obesity and other chronic diseases could help guide dietetics practitioners. The present study describes the purchase frequency of away-from-home food sources for family dinner (fast food, other restaurant purchases, home delivery, and takeout foods) and associations with weight status and percent body fat among adolescents (n=723) and parents (n=723) and related biomarkers of chronic disease among adolescents (n=367). A cross-sectional study design was used with baseline parent surveys and anthropometry/fasting blood samples from two community-based obesity studies (2006-2008) in Minnesota. Logistic regression and general linear modeling assessed associations between frequency of family dinner sources (weekly vs none in past week) and outcomes (parent and adolescent overweight/obesity and percent body fat; adolescent metabolic risk cluster z score, cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, fasting glucose, insulin, and systolic blood pressure. Models accounted for clustering and adjusted for study allocation, baseline meal frequency, and demographic characteristics. The odds of overweight/obesity were considerably greater when families reported at least one away-from-home dinner purchase in the past week (odds ratio=1.2 to 2.6). Mean percent body fat, metabolic risk cluster z scores, and insulin levels were significantly greater with weekly purchases of family dinner from fast-food restaurants (P<0.05). Mean percent body fat, metabolic risk cluster z scores, and high-density lipoprotein levels were significantly higher for families who purchased weekly family dinner from takeout sources (P<0.05). Although frequent family dinners may be beneficial for adolescents, the source of dinners is likely as important in maintaining a healthy weight. Interventions should focus on encouragement of healthful family meals.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
FUNDING/SUPPORT: The study was funded as part of the IDEA study (principal investigator: Leslie Lytle) funded by National Cancer Institute's [NCI] Transdisciplinary Research in Energetics and Cancer Initiative (NCI Grant 1 U54 CA116849-01 , Examining the Obesity Epidemic Through Youth, Family, and Young Adults, principal investigator: Robert Jeffery) and the ECHO study (principal investigator: Leslie Lytle) funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute ( R01 HL085978 ). Supporting institutions played no role in the design and conduct of the study; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data; or in the preparation, review or approval of the manuscript.