Life can get pretty hectic—which means nowadays a meal is often something we grab on the go as we zip from one activity to the next. But a new study may encourage us to be more mindful of what and how we are eating, especially when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.
In one of the first studies to look at mealtime practices across a large population of people, researchers at The Ohio State University discovered two important things were linked to a lower risk of obesity among U.S. adults: home-cooked meals and zero screen time.
Based on survey results from nearly 13,000 participants, it was determined that the lowest obesity odds were seen in families and individuals who did both—prepared their own meals and avoided watching TV or looking at mobile devices while eating. Of course, this may not be possible every day of the week, but study author Rachel Tumin says that’s ok.
“Families have a lot of demands and they can feel pressured to do things ‘right’ all the time,” said Tumin in a recent university news release. “This study showed potential benefits regardless of how often you eat a family meal at home,” she said. Findings were published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.