Eating as a family has been found to have a positive health impact on children and adolescents, but what about adults? A cross-sectional survey sampling of nearly 900 parents (mean age 31.4) with young children (mean age 4.6) found that a higher frequency of family meals was linked to parents reporting statistically higher self-esteem, lower stress indices, and stronger connected relationships. Parents also reported eating more servings of fruits and vegetables in relation to sharing more family meals. This research supports that parents, too, demonstrate higher indicators of nutritional, emotional, and social well-being when meals are shared.
Reference: Utter, J., Larson, N., Berge, J. M., Eisenberg, M. E., Fulkerson, J. A., & Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2018). Family meals among parents: Associations with nutritional, social and emotional wellbeing. Preventive medicine, 113, 7–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.05.006 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6309329/
Laura Bustard is an actuary who is passionate about plants. She has conducted research on the emergency food system and prescription-produce, and recently worked for FairShare CSA Coalition in Madison, WI. She now lives in Goleta, CA, and works remotely for The Standard, holding a Masters of Science in Urban and Regional Planning and a Fellowship from the Society of Actuaries.
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