Poor Family Functioning Linked To High Sugar Consumption


By Kirsten Cowart

If your family is struggling to get along or to function in general, you may need to look at your diet. Eating healthy was recently found to be linked with families that function and get along better.  

The Queen Mary University of London recently did a study about the mother’s perception of her family’s functioning. They found a strong link between family life and consuming sugary foods and drinks, especially in young children.  

What Is Effective Family Functioning?

Family functioning was defined in the study as the families ability to manage daily life, resolve issues, have warm and loving interactions, clear communication, flexible behavior control and well-defined roles.  

Professor Wagner Marcenes who lead the study explained that, “Our research adopted a broad definition of ‘family’ and we included single parents and those who are divorced, cohabiting and same-sex family types.”

The Effect On Children


The research found that children who were part of a well-functioning family were 67% less likely to eat more than 4 sugary foods or drinks per day compared to children from less functional families.  

This may be more data to show the link between stress and unhealthy eating. If children are experiencing social stresses, they may be having hormones released in their body that urges them to overeat. The overeating may be linked to childhood obesity and other health concerns from eating unhealthy.  

Family Educational Level Believed To Be Less Of A Factor Than Family Functioning

“Effective family functioning is a safeguard against the well-known negative impact of lower levels of education in relation to sugar consumption,” Professor Marcenes continued. “A significant number of children whose mothers had a lower level of qualification, but whose family functioning was effective, were more likely to consume less than four intakes of sugary foods compared with their counterparts whose family functioning was impaired. “

This may show us that healthy social and relationship balance among family systems may be more important to our health than we previously thought. If children are often picking sweets over healthy foods, then they may be experiencing stress.

Understanding the link between craving sugar and stress may help make big strides in helping your physical health by working on relationships and general family connections.

What do you do to help your family function well?  Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.

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Kirsten Campbell
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Kirsten Campbell

Kirsten Cowart is a writer and researcher that has worked in the spiritual, mental health and medical fields.Kirsten enjoys studying and experiencing the benefits of yoga, meditation, nutrition, herbalism, organic gardening and alternative health.She worked hard in 2014 losing over 40 lbs. and has since maintained a healthy lifestyle.Follow her to learn more about her journey on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube!
Kirsten Campbell
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