pakhtoon khan shinwari
Feb 15, 2008
Adolescents who eat with their family more often do better in school and are less likely to use drugs and to have symptoms of depression or physical problems, than those who ate with their family less often.
Family meals appear to have important health benefits for teenagers, so it is important to encourage families to prioritise this activity to the possible extent, Health News reported.
The benefits of family meals are well known. Besides providing children with routine and consistency, they also offer children an opportunity to learn about communication, manners, nutrition and good eating habits.
But little research has looked at the possibility that family meals are simply a sign of close family tie. Families that are more connected with each other are believed to be more likely to dine together, and that it is this connectivity that leads to healthier children.
Family meals seemed to have the biggest impact on girls, although boys also benefited. The researchers suggested that one way, that family meals may help teens stay out of trouble is by giving parents a chance to "check-in" with their children to notice any problems.