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Health Benefits of Family Dinners

Family meals together ease stress, a survey confirms.

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Family dinners

Experts have long suggested that family dinners offer many health benefits, including improving diet quality for all generations of a household. Now, an American Heart Association survey that included 1,000 U.S. adults found that 91% of parents said eating together as a family reduces feelings of stress, with 84% wishing they could break bread together more frequently.

About 59% of those questioned said they make healthier food choices when they’re able to eat with others, but many expressed concern that they have difficulty aligning schedules with family (and friends). Like other healthy habits, family dinners and group meals (at home and at work) can be hard to sustain within the confines of busy calendars and the draw of eating in the company of social media.

See also: Family Meal Planning

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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