Family mealtime interactions and overweight children with asthma: Potential for compounded risks?

Matthew P. Jacobs, Barbara H. Fiese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Exploratory study aimed to examine differences in family interaction patterns during a routine mealtime between overweight, at-risk for overweight, and average weight children with asthma. Methods: Eighty families of children with asthma, aged 5-12 years, were videotaped during a mealtime in their homes. The videotapes were rated using the McMaster Mealtime Family Interaction Coding System (MICS). Structural aspects of the meal such as presence of sugary drinks and whether the television was on were also coded. Results: Significant differences were found on the MICS with families of children with asthma who were overweight scoring lower on task accomplishment, affect management, interpersonal involvement, and roles. Families of overweight children with asthma also displayed an increased presence of sugary beverages, shorter meal length, and fewer adults at the table. Conclusions: Preliminary findings suggest that families with children with asthma who are overweight may have a more difficult time managing mealtimes and feel overwhelmed by this family routine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-68
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Childhood overweight
  • Family interaction
  • Pediatric asthma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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