Overweight epidemics, including among children and adolescents, are fuelled by contemporary obesogenic environments. Recent research and theory highlight the importance of socio-cultural factors in mitigating adverse impacts of the abundance of food in high-income countries. The current study examined whether family meal culture shapes young people's eating behaviors and self-regulation.
Young people aged 10-17 years were recruited through schools in four European countries: the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and the United Kingdom. A total of 2,764 participants completed a self-report questionnaire in class, providing information on healthy and unhealthy eating, joint family meals and communal meal values and use of eating-related self-regulation strategies.
Path analysis found that family meal culture variables were significantly associated with young people's eating behaviors, as was self-regulation. Significant indirect effects of family meal culture were also found, through self-regulation.
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