Family Dinner

Is your table empty? The wall street journal had an interesting article on the advantages of having a family meal. Many people think they don't have time for it, but the research shows that you don't have time not to do it. The benefits of regular family dinners include "better grades, healthier body weight, lower rates of cigarette and alcohol use, stronger relationships with parents and better overall mental health."

The article goes on to discuss the optimal length of each dinner. No definite answer is given, but there are indications that even incremental differences make a significant advantage.
One study of mealtime characteristics and kids' weight found just 3 1/2 extra minutes at the table made a difference. In the study of 200 videotaped family mealtimes, children in families where dinner lasted 16.4 minutes on average were at greater risk for being overweight compared with families that sat for an average of 19.9 minutes.
Regular mealtimes also have a significant impact on mental health.
Each weekly family dinner correlates with a 15% reduction in the odds of substance abuse, and a reduction in depressive symptoms and delinquency, according to a 2012 review of data from nearly 18,000 adolescents, which was published in Journal of Marriage and Family.
There also appears to be no ceiling to the benefit of each family dinner in regards to mental health.
"We found there was no real threshold or ceiling effect," says Frank Elgar, associate professor of psychiatry at McGill University. With each additional dinner, he says, there was a significant positive effect on mental health.
 It is obvious that family dinners have a huge impact on the health of family relationships. Make sure that your table is full!


  1. Wow, What a Excellent post. I really found this to much informatics. It is what i was searching for.I would like to suggest you that please keep sharing such type of info.Thanks family dinner ideas

  2. Thanks Faiza for your feedback. I will keep that in mind when I write new posts.


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