Family Meal Frequency, Diet, and Family Functioning: A Systematic Review With Meta-analyses

Shannon Robson, Mary Beth McCullough, Samantha Rex, Marcus R Munafò, Gemma Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective
To examine the direction and magnitude of the relation between family meal frequency and dietary and family functioning outcomes in children (aged 2–18 years).

Design
Systematic literature review with meta-analysis.

Methods
Independent electronic searches, 1 for each outcome of interest, were conducted across 5 databases: PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Web of Science, Scopus, and PsycINFO. Studies were included if they were peer-reviewed and published in English in the US through December 2018.

Main Outcome Measures
Diet and family functioning.

Results
Dietary outcomes showed some evidence of a positive association between family meal frequency and fruits, vegetables, fruits and vegetables, sugar-sweetened beverages, and the Healthy Eating Index. There was less clear evidence of this relation in snacks, fast food, and desserts. A positive association was found between family meal frequency or dinner family meal frequency and family functioning outcomes. All studies included had cross-sectional and longitudinal study designs.

Conclusions and Implications
There is some evidence to show a positive relation between family meal frequency and dietary outcomes. There is stronger evidence for the relation with family functioning outcomes. Most articles included in the systematic reviews were excluded from meta-analysis owing to inadequate data and high methodological diversity across exposure and outcome variables.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Early online date23 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jan 2020

Cite this