Health Watch — Childhood Obesity: Family Meals

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about the epidemic of childhood obesity. There’s one relatively simple thing you can do with your family that will help your child have better eating habits: Eat dinner together. Studies have shown that kids who eat family dinners eat more vegetables and have better overall nutrition. There are also other benefits associated with family meals, such as better grades and less risk of alcohol or drug use.

Cindy Cunningham, a nutritionist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you don’t have to make big gourmet meals to benefit from family dinners. Start with something simple, even if it’s takeout food that you eat together while sitting around the table. It’s the togetherness that’s important. From there, you can work on improving the nutritional content of the meals.


April 2007

Health Watch is heard Monday through Friday nationwide on ABC Satellite Radio. Call your local radio station and ask if they carry the program.