Families who watched TV at dinner ate just about as healthfully as families who dined without it. The biggest factor wasnâ€™t whether the TV was on or off, but whether the family was eating the meal together.
â€śObviously, we want people eating family meals, and we want them to turn the TV off,â€ť said Shira Feldman, public health specialist at the universityâ€™s School of Public Health and lead author of the research. â€śBut just the act of eating together is on some level very beneficial, even if the TV is on.â€ť
The research, published this month in The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, is the latest testament to the power of the family meal. While many parents worry about what their kids are eating " vegetables versus junk " a voluminous body of research suggests that the best strategy for improving a childâ€™s diet is simply putting food on the table and sitting down together to eat it.
The key, she said, is togetherness, not timing. A family that is scattered at the dinner hour might be able to meet regularly for breakfast instead. And even adding one or two more family meals to the week is better than nothing. â€śI would put the emphasis on just looking at where your family is now and seeing what you can do to improve,â€ť Dr. Neumark-Sztainer said. â€śI think many people just donâ€™t realize how important the family meal really is.â€ť
How does dinner work or not work at your house?
Dinner was (and is when i'm at my parents) at the dinner table without exceptions. It's nice, I always look forward to it. ...But that's how i grew up,eh.
The Latin American Study on Emotional Health, Welfare and Happiness conducted by Coca-Cola also showed that 93 percent of the people polled in Peru affirmed that having family meals contributed to their emotional health.
It was reported that eight out of every ten Peruvian families had meals together.
According to Terra News, this was one of the country's most important traditions because it allowed families to talk and share values.
The survey, which concluded that having good emotional health influenced Hispanics' happiness, was carried out in Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Lima, BogotĂˇ, San JosĂ© de Costa Rica and MĂ©xico DF.
Watching television, eating family meals and the safety of the neighborhood all play a role in children's weight, according to researchers at the University of Missouri.
What this country needs is more trained attack moms.