Characteristics of Family Meals

Average MealAll Participants (N = 120 Families)Nonoverweight (n = 60 Families)Overweight/Obese (n = 60 Families)Pa
Length of mealtime, mean (SE), min15.7 (0.9)18.2 (1.8)13.5 (0.9)*.02*
Number of adults present at meal, mean (SE)1.4 (0.1)1.4 (0.1)1.3 (0.1).16
Number of children at meal, mean (SE)2.3 (0.1)2.2 (0.1)2.4 (0.2).21
Number of siblings at meal (range = 0–6), mean (SE)1.2 (0.1)1.1 (0.1)1.3 (0.2).31
Family members present at meal, %
 Father or stepfather345218.01*
Meal was a typical family meal (parent report), %898593.28
How meal was served, %
 Parent-only; parent preplates meal for family928995.47
 Family style; everyone plated their own meal7105.57
 Child-directed; parent involved child in plating the meal110.19
Where family meal took place, %
 Kitchen/dining room728055.03*
 Family room201730.01*
TV is on in the dining room or adjoining room, %484452.50
The family is watching TV, %342740.21
Electronic devices present at the table, %272825.76
 Cell phone232521.58
 Handheld game device101.18
Any screen-time devices used at family meal, %615962.81
  • TV, television.

  • * Significant (P < .05).

  • a P values compare nonoverweight with overweight/obese children.