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Having frequent family dinners is associated with better diet quality in children; however, it is unknown whether the frequency of certain family meal types (i.e. dinner) is more strongly associated with better child weight and diet quality compared with other meal types (i.e. breakfast, lunch). Thus, the current study examined the frequency of eating breakfast, lunch or dinner family meals and associations with pre-school children’s overall diet quality (HEI-2010) and BMI percentile.
Cross-sectional baseline data (2012–2014) from two randomized controlled childhood obesity prevention trials, NET-Works and GROW, were analysed together.
Studies were carried out in community and in-home settings in urban areas of Minnesota and Tennessee, USA.
Parent–child (ages 2–5 years) pairs from Minnesota (n 222 non-Hispanics; n 312 Hispanics) and Tennessee (n 545 Hispanics; n 55 non-Hispanics) participated in the study.
Over 80 % of families ate breakfast or lunch family meals at least once per week. Over 65 % of families ate dinner family meals ≥5 times/week. Frequency of breakfast family meals and total weekly family meals were significantly associated with healthier diet quality for non-Hispanic pre-school children (P<0·05), but not for Hispanic children. Family meal frequency by meal type was not associated with BMI percentile for non-Hispanic or Hispanic pre-school children.
Breakfast family meal frequency and total weekly family meal frequency were associated with healthier diet quality in non-Hispanic pre-school children but not in Hispanic children. Longitudinal research is needed to clarify the association between family meal type and child diet quality and BMI percentile.
To investigate the use of community-supported agriculture (CSA) as an employer-based health promotion intervention.
Quasi-experimental study using a convenience sample of employees at three employers.
Participants and controls from three Minnesota employers completed baseline and follow-up health assessments and surveys about their experiences with CSA.
A total of 324 participants purchased a CSA share and were eligible for study inclusion. Study participants were matched by age, sex, employer and occupation to a non-randomized control group of individuals who did not purchase a CSA share but completed health assessments during the same time frame as the study participants.
The majority of participants were female, white, middle-aged and highly educated. The most common reason for purchasing a CSA share was a desire for fresh food, and the majority of participants were satisfied with their experience. Participants reported a significant increase in the number of vegetables present in the household and the frequency of family meals. The frequency of eating out decreased significantly, especially at fast-food restaurants. Participants also reported an increase in the amount and variety of produce consumed. However, health assessment data did not show significant changes in dietary intake, health status or BMI.
CSA participation was associated with improvement in some aspects of the household environment and dietary behaviours. Further research is needed to determine whether employer-based CSA interventions may also lead to improvements in dietary intake and health.
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