Eating Together Regularly With Family or Friends Could Be The Secret To Easing Stress, Study Shows

According to new research, having dinner regularly as a family could be the key to easing stress. American Heart Association Researchers have established that 91% of parents say that their families become less stressed when they share meals.

Sharing a meal with family can ease stress. 

The survey of 1000 American adults found that 84% love sharing a meal with their family. Yet, surprisingly the average adult eats alone almost half of the time. In addition, two-thirds (65%) of the respondents said they were somehow stressed, and 27% indicated they were extremely stressed. According to researchers, continuous and chronic stress increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. 

Study co-author Eric Michos said that sharing meals is a good way of reducing stress, improving social connection and boosting self-esteem, especially for children.

Having family meals encourages healthier eating.

The study also revealed that many respondents think eating meals together offers additional health advantages. For example, two out of three people think that going out to eat with others makes them realize how important it is to interact with family, friends, coworkers, and neighbours. Moreover, half (54%) claim that eating together makes them remember to take a break and calm down.

Almost six in ten (59%) also state that they choose healthier foods when they dine with others. But unfortunately, many Americans struggle to coordinate their routines with their family members.

Michos added that getting people to eat together is not as always as simple as it appears. However, he advises that people should start small and build from there, just like any other behaviour. 

It is advisable to try and have an extra meal with family, friends, or colleagues every week. Consider how you can have lunch together by phone or the internet if you can’t meet in person.

According to a survey conducted by the American Heart Association, seven out of ten full- or part-time employees said they would be less stressed should they have had extra time to take breaks and eat lunch with their colleagues.

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