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People participating in family mealtimes ≥ 6 times per week while growing up are known to have a better quality diet, GPA, sleeping habits, and a normal BMI. It is hypothesized that college students with a history of family mealtimes continue to experience these benefits while in college. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of the history of family mealtime on diet quality, GPA, sleeping habits, and BMI in a college setting.
A convenience sample of students at a midwestern university (n=100) were asked to complete a 17 question survey regarding frequency of family meals, food frequency, GPA, sleep, and BMI. GPA was evaluated on a five point scale (one ≤ 2.0, two = 2.1-2.5, three = 2.6-3.0, four = 3.1-3.5, five = 3.6-4.0). Data were analyzed using a one-tailed, two-sample unequal variance t-test in Microsoft Excel. SPSS was also used for statistical analysis. Study protocol was approved by the university IRB.
College participants growing up eating in a family dinner setting ≥ 6 days a week had a non-significant (p≥0.05) increase intake of fruits, grains, dairy, and hours of sleep compared to those ≤3 times per week. There was a non-significant (p≥0.05) decrease in daily convenience food consumption and normal BMI between the groups. Also, there was a significant (p≤0.05) increase in GPA from 3.32 to 4.20 (p=0.002) between the groups. These findings indicate that growing up eating in a family dinner setting ≥ 6 days a week is associated with better GPA in college.
Jannusch, Rachael, "Impact of Family Meal Time on College Students' Food Consumption and Select Lifestyle Choices" (2012). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 19.