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The Relationships of Dietary Behavior, Food Intake, and Life Satisfaction with Family Meal Frequency in Middle School Students

중학생의 가족식사 횟수에 따른 식행동, 식품섭취 및 삶의 만족도

  • Received : 2013.01.03
  • Accepted : 2013.06.19
  • Published : 2013.06.30

Abstract

To study the importance of family meals in adolescents, 251 middle school students were surveyed through a questionnaire on their family meal patterns, dietary behaviors, food intake, and life satisfaction. The family meals were defined as "meals with all family members living together" by 62.2% of the students. For the frequency of family meals, 42.2% of the students replied having family meals "More than once a day". A common reason for the difficulty in having a family meal was a "lack of time" (73.3% of the students). Students tended to respond that they would be most fond in having meals with entire family members with traditional Korean food. Having more frequent family meals was found to benefit both individual and familial dietary behavior. In terms of food intake according to the frequency of family meals, the group having frequent family meals consumed significantly more rice, tofu, legumes, meats, fishes, eggs, green vegetables, seaweeds, fruits, milk, and milk products. This indicates that students can achieve a balanced diet through family meals. In terms of emotional status, the group having more frequent family meals showed a higher satisfaction with their daily life, health, nutritional status, and care from their relatives. In terms of personal mental status, the group having more frequent family meals was also found to be more effective at controlling undesirable emotions such as loneliness, indignation, and lethargy. As a result of this study, students in the group having more frequent family meals were found to have a positive dietary behavior, a balanced nutrition, a higher life satisfaction, and a more stable mental status. This result is useful as nutritional and educational information in schools to impress upon the public the importance of family meals for adolescents.

Keywords

Family meal frequency;dietary behavior;food intake;life satisfaction

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