We Grow Up Eating Together. Why Do We Stop?
Here is another amazing commercial from President’s Choice. They offer some insight about Eating Together as a way to connect and expand our hearts (February is Heart month after all).
There are interesting studies that have been conducted on eating together. Here are some of the results:
- When seniors in a nursing home ate at a dining room table versus eating alone in their rooms, they were more likely to gain weight (desirable) and their overall nutritional status and rehabilitation were improved. (“Eating together is important: using a dining room in an acute elderly medical ward increases energy intake” Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics)
- In their study “A Perspective on Family Meals: Do They Matter?”, Mary Story and Diane Neumark-Sztainer, describe the social value of family meals and the impact of family meals on children’s dietary quality, psychosocial health, and learning.
- The Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research showcased a review on the literature pertaining to family meal influence on adolescent’s intake. They noted that several articles specifically highlight the importance of family meals in regard to childhood and teenage obesity and suggest that family meals are associated with improved dietary intakes.
- In their research article “Adolescent and Parent Views of Family Meals”, researchers Fulkerson et al found that family meals are perceived positively by both kids and parents. They enhance family togetherness and provide a forum for positive role modeling. Regular family meals help all individuals learn to cook healthier meals and promote improved nutritional intake.
- Findings also suggest that eating family meals may enhance the health and well-being of adolescents. The study “Correlations Between Family Meals and Psychological Well-Being Among Adolescents” demonstrated that frequency of family meals was inversely associated with tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use; low grade point average; depressive symptoms; and suicide involvement, particularly among adolescent girls. These associations held even after controlling for family connectedness, suggesting that eating meals as a family has benefits for young people above and beyond their general sense of connection to family members.
Take the time this month to eat with family, friends, co-workers. If you live alone, plan a dinner or lunch date with someone. If you eat with your earphones on, sitting at your desk, try having lunch in a common area where there are people – strike up a conversation. Take a break from your desk. Connect with someone. Give it a try. #EatTogether