A significant study on the relationship between certain family characteristics and adolescent problem behaviors, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that teens who have more frequent family dinners (more than three per week) are:
less likely to have abused prescription drugs or to have used an
illegal drug other than marijuana or prescription drugs
less likely to have used marijuana
less likely to have used tobacco
less likely to have used alcohol
When we were six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, we discovered that Americans were using family meals to stay strong – physically and emotionally – during the global pandemic. Better yet, they planned to continue this positive practice when the world returns to a new normal.
The “Staying Strong with Family Meals” Barometer is a recurring consumer survey tracking family meal behaviors and habits that started in August 2020 and is ongoing. The latest data reveals that Americans are cooking more with their families and having more family meals.
More than 35 years of research and thousands of studies from around the globe document that family meals (no matter how you define “family”) are advantageous for both physical and mental health. Beyond these benefits, it has been shown time and again that family meals improve family functioning – family connectedness, communication, expressiveness, and problem-solving.
We may have always known, intuitively, that family meals are good for us, but the numerous research studies from the past ten years alone (cited below) provide scientific proof. See for yourself.
The will to return to the table exists, but families need a friendly, familiar voice to show them the way. That voice is food retail, and the way is the National Family Meals Movement.
Join us in making a difference during National Family Meals Month™ this September.