Supporting Research

Over the past 18 years, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University has surveyed thousands of American teens and their parents to identify situations and circumstances that influence the risk of teen substance abuse. This research report from 2012 demonstrates once again that magic happens during family mealtime when children and parents gather around the table and engage each other in conversation.

Family Meal Frequency, Diet, and Family Functioning: A Systematic Review With Meta-analyses

Published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, May 2020

This new study builds on years of previous research studies and demonstrates the value of family meals.  There are two notable findings to this study:
  1. Family meals improve fruit and vegetable consumption – overwhelmingly, studies showed a positive relationship between family meal frequency and fruit and vegetable intake when examined separately, but also when fruit and vegetable intake were combined.
  2. Family meals improve family functioning – nearly all the studies included in the systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrated a positive relationship between family meal frequency and measures of family functioning. Family functioning is defined as family connectedness, communication, expressiveness, and problem-solving.

Overall, this study shows more frequent family meals were associated with better dietary outcomes and family functioning outcomes. 

Power of Family Meals

Power of Family Meals

This referenced white paper reviews current consumer research that highlights the perceived value of family meals that includes the social, emotional, healthful and financial benefits of meal sharing at home.  Consumers believe that eating at home together with family is important however they identify numerous obstacles to achieving more family meals.  The report explores the full set of conditions that can enable all types of families to enjoy more breakfast, lunch and dinner occasions together at home. Download the Report

These infographics depict additional research that support the benefits of family meals. Click on an image to enlarge it and share.

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