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The purpose of the present study was to explore the relationship between family meals and parental encouragement of healthy eating overall and by ethnicity.
Family meal frequency was measured with one item asking how many times in the past 7 d all or most of the family ate a meal together, which was then categorized to represent three levels of family meals (≤2 times, 3–6 times and ≥7 times). Parental encouragement of healthy eating assessed how often parents encouraged the student to eat fruits and vegetables, drink water, eat wholegrain bread, eat breakfast and drink low-fat milk (never to always). An overall scale of parental encouragement of healthy eating was created. Mixed-effect regression analyses were run controlling for gender, ethnicity, age and socio-economic status. Moderation by ethnicity was explored.
Participants included 2895 US eighth grade students participating in the Central Texas CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Child Health) Middle School Project (mean age 13·9 years; 24·5 % White, 52·7 % Hispanic, 13·0 % African-American, 9·8 % Other; 51·6 % female).
Eating more family meals was significantly associated with having parents who encouraged healthy eating behaviours (P for trend <0·001). The number of family meals was positively associated with encouragement of each of the healthy eating behaviours (P for trend <0·0001). There were no differences in the relationships by ethnicity of the students.
Families who eat together are more likely to encourage healthy eating in general. Interventions which promote family meals may include tips for parents to increase discussions about healthy eating.
Cellular and molecular mechanisms of neural plasticity
Kimberly M. Christian, Neuroscience Program, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA,
Andrew M. Poulos, Neuroscience Program, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA,
Richard F. Thompson, Neuroscience Program, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
This chapter provides a taxonomic overview of different forms of learning and memory at the behavioral and neural system levels. Long-term memory can be divided roughly into two categories, namely, declarative and non-declarative memory. Non-declarative memories encompass a wide range of phenomena from priming to skill learning. Some of the most basic forms of memory result from non-associative learning processes. Non-declarative priming memory is a form of memory that results from exposure to stimuli prior to a testing session. Damage to medial temporal structures including the hippocampus in human studies is associated with marked impairments in trace eyeblink conditioning. Many researchers have looked to the neocortex as the prime candidate for the permanent storage of declarative memories but there is limited evidence at this point to demonstrate this with certainty. Specificity of neocortical sites for memory storage and retrieval has been observed in imaging studies of healthy patients.
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