Health Indicator Report of Family Meals
A number of studies indicate that eating meals as a family is associated with increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Adolescents who eat more meals with their families may have lower consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and have a lower body mass index (BMI) than their counterparts who eat fewer meals with their families.
Food insecurity is defined as always/usually/sometimes in the past 12 months being worried or stressed about having enough money to buy nutritious meals. Overall, 64.4% of adults had family meals 5 or more times a week. However, only 54.5% of adults with food insecurity had family meals 5+ times per week. Two-thirds, 67.0%, of adults without food insecurity had family meals 5+ times per week. Percentages are age-adjusted.
Family Meals by Food Insecurity, Utah, 2019
NotesThe question was only asked to adults in households with children under the age of 18 (approximately 40% of the sample). Age-adjusted to 2000 U.S. standard population.
Data SourceUtah Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Office of Public Health Assessment, Utah Department of Health
DefinitionThe percentage of adults who live in households where family members ate meals together five or more times in the past seven days
NumeratorNumber of adults who live in households where family members ate meals together five or more times in the past seven days
DenominatorAdults in households with children under the age of 18.
Other ObjectivesThis question supports the efforts of the State Health Improvement Plan which intends to unite the work of the Utah Public Health System through a collective effort with all 13 local health departments. Goal 1 is "Utahns are Eating Healthy and Living Active Lives" with the Strategy 2 "Promote Health Family Meals."
How Are We Doing?The question about family meals was first asked on the 2013 BRFSS. At that time 69.7% of adults reported eating family meals together more than 5 times a week (age-adjusted rates). In 2015 BRFSS, 63.8% of adults reported eating family meals together more than 5 times a week. In 2017, the percentage was 69.9%; and in 2019, it was 64.4%(age-adjusted).
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?This data is not available for the U.S.
What Is Being Done?In 2014, Governor Gary Herbert declared September as Healthy Utah Family Meals Month. As of 2021, this declaration is still in effect. Local health departments have conducted campaigns to increase the number of meals family members eat together. HEAL created a video with Utah Governor Spencer Cox ( Lt. Governor at the time) that shows him in his home preparing and eating a meal with his family. Please see [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8TbyF4aN9Y].
Health Program InformationThe Utah Department of Health Healthy Environments Active Living program plays a key role in improving the health of residents in the state of Utah. The program was formed in July 2013 (as EPICC), through a new funding opportunity from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that allowed for the merging of three previously existing programs: the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program, the Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, and the Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity Program, as well as the addition of a school health program. The Healthy Environments Active Living Program was recently restructured as part of this strategic planning process and the new program model focuses on working together with staff and partners to address the social determinants of health while advancing health equity and increasing policy, systems, and environmental changes. Overarching Goals: Healthy People: Increase access to resources that empower all people in Utah to reach their full health potential. Healthy Communities: Increase the capacity of communities to support and promote healthy living for all individuals. Equitable Society: Increase opportunities for people who are under-resourced and under-represented in Utah to live healthy and thriving lives.
Page Content Updated On 04/08/2021, Published on 12/09/2021