Obesity in low-income families are more prevalent than many would think, but according to a study on ScienceDaily.com there is a very basic solution to this problem--having mealtimes together as a family for a few extra minutes.

Researchers from the University of Illinois observed 200 families during mealtimes, taking into account socioeconomic factors and family values.

The results showed that socioeconomic factors such as income and family structure have great importance in mealtime behaviors. Children from low-income single-parent families were more likely to become obese than those who were raised by two parents.

Interestingly, how families gave importance to sharing mealtimes as often as they could had a huge effect on obesity. Children whose families talk, interact, and bond at the dinner table were more likely to maintain a healthy weight. This may be due to the fact families who eat together are able to regularly monitor each other's diets as opposed to those who don't.

Although many low-income families find it a bit difficult to come together during mealtimes due to double jobs and work shifts, it's important to try and set a day or two within the week to get in touch and bond. A few hours together may spell a healthier lifestyle for family members, which in the long run, is both enriching and economical.

(Photo via Aaron Fulkerson via Flickr Creative Commons)

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