Black Family DinnerA recent article on the Mercola website explains the results of a study that found that even though many American families do not eat as a family every night, the vast majority of them view the family meal as “their favorite part of the day.”  That alone should be reason enough for parents to try to increase the times that families share more meals together, but the article points out that other significant benefits come from this simple family activity.  Dr. Joseph Mercola cites an ABC News report that spells out, “Teens who eat with their families at least five times a week are 40 percent more likely to get A’s and B’s in school than their peers who don’t share family meals.  They’re also 42 percent less likely to drink alcohol, 59 percent less likely to smoke cigarettes, and 66 percent less likely to try marijuana.  They were also less depressed.”

Research shows that with each additional family dinner, teenagers had the following:

  • Fewer emotional and behavioral problems
  • Greater emotional well-being
  • More trusting and helpful behaviors toward others
  • Higher life satisfaction

Additionally, all children benefit in these ways:

  • Better vocabulary development among children
  • Increased self esteem
  • Helps children build resilience
  • Lower rates of teenage pregnancy

The article emphasizes that eating at home also provides an opportunity to serve more healthful meals than what might be eaten at fast food restaurants.  Dr. Mercola advocates including as much fresh, whole food as possible—another way to diminish the chances of childhood obesity and children’s overall good health.

Black Family Dinner