Unhealthy eating behaviours may contribute to the rising prevalence of childhood obesity in Canada. The purpose of this study was to describe family dinner frequency (FDF) and its associations with overall diet quality.
The sample included grades six (n=372), seven (n=429) and eight (n=487) students from Southern Ontario. Data were collected with the Food Behaviour Questionnaire, including a single 24-h dietary recall and questions about individual meals. Diet quality was calculated using the Healthy Eating Index-C (HEI-C), which is a recently modified diet quality index.
The majority of participants (65%) reported frequent family dinner meals (6-7 days/week versus 20% on 3-5 days/week and 15% on 0-2 days/week). Diet quality scores were higher among participants reporting 6-7 dinners/week (HEI-C=66.2 versus 62.1 and 62.8 for 0-2 and 3-5 days/week, respectively, P