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Promoting Better Family Meals for Girls Attending Summer Programs

      Numerous cross-sectional studies and some longitudinal studies have identified the positive attributes and protective effects of the traditional family meal. Children and adolescents who frequently eat meals with their families are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables;
      • Gillman M.W.
      • Rifas-Shiman S.L.
      • Frazier A.L.
      • et al.
      Family dinner and diet quality among older children and adolescents.
      less likely to consume fried food, soda, or sweets;
      • Videon T.M.
      • Manning C.K.
      Influences on adolescent eating patterns: the importance of family meals.
      less likely to have disordered eating patterns;
      • Neumark-Sztainer D.
      • Eisenberg M.E.
      • Fulkerson J.A.
      • Story M.
      • Larson N.I.
      Family meals and disordered eating in adolescents: longitudinal findings from project EAT.
      and less likely to be overweight.
      • Taveras E.M.
      • Rifas-Shiman S.L.
      • Berkey C.S.
      • et al.
      Family dinner and adolescent overweight.
      • Gable S.
      • Chang Y.
      • Krull J.L.
      Television watching and frequency of family meals are predictive of overweight onset and persistence in a national sample of school-aged children.
      However, very few published reports evaluate programs designed to increase the frequency or quality of family meals.
      • Johnson D.B.
      • Birkett D.
      • Evens C.
      • Pickering S.
      Promoting family meals in WIC: lessons learned from a statewide initiative.
      Therefore, the purpose of this program was to promote better family meals at home for girls attending a summer program by improving the girls' food preparation skills and their abilities to be family change agents for more healthful family mealtimes.
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