Really, it’s true.
A list of 68 studies have been examined by a group of researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Through these studies, researchers have estimated that about 40% of the average family budget is spent eating out, which adds to the growing number of families linked to higher rates of malnutrition and obesity.
It appears that families who are not eating together tend to make poorer food choices –- children in particular go for fast food meals that can limit their nutritional intake, often because they don’t eat fruits, vegetables, fiber, or essential vitamin rich foods.
But a family that eats together, does in fact, stay together. Families have enormous social benefits. Teens are more likely to feel supported by their family, less likely to show signs of depression, and more apt to have a lower body mass index than those who regularly dine out.
Jennifer Martin-Biggers, author of one nutritional study, also suggests that it’s not simply the amount of food consumed that makes the impact on your behavior, but the quality of time spent,
“We believe that spending that family time together may provide a platform allowing parents and children to interact and for parents to teach children healthy habits,” she says. “The increased focus on food and eating may be a mechanism behind the improved diets families tend to show when they eat together.”