27th Annual National Symposium on Family Issues – Families and Food
October 21 - October 22
The 27th Annual National Symposium on Family Issues is scheduled for October 21 & 22 at the Nittany Lion Inn, University Park Campus, State College, PA. The focus for this year’s symposium is Families and Food. Families play a crucial role in their members’ eating behaviors and orientations toward food. For example, mothers’ dietary patterns in pregnancy are linked to their infants’ food acceptance and children’s food preferences develop early in the context of family life. Later in development, responsive parenting practices can promote the development of healthful eating behaviors, but controlling or coercive parenting practices are associated with the development of problematic, dysregulated eating behaviors in children and adolescents. More generally, the social and emotional climate of mealtimes can serve as a context for promoting healthful behaviors around food.
In the current obesigenic environment within the U.S. and elsewhere around the world, efforts to foster healthful eating behavior and dietary patterns are often at odds with the ubiquity of widely marketed energy-dense foods. Yet, there is a paradoxical relation between food insecurity and obesity, and many low-income communities with high rates of obesity are also considered food deserts–with little or no access to fresh produce and nutrient-dense foods. Indeed, overweight and obesity have reached epidemic levels in the U.S., and low-income and minority individuals bear a disproportionate burden. Comprehensive, multi-level interventions and policy changes are needed to address these inequities and increase families’ capacity to promote healthy eating behaviors and dietary patterns in their members.
The 2019 National Symposium on Family Issues will provide an overview of these many interconnections between families and food. Learn more and register.
Monday, October 21