There is an old saying, “When you take food in the presence of another, you take in something of that person as well.” Now it appears, that there is scientific evidence to back that up. A five year study published just this week by the University of Minnesota, reveals that eating together as a family at least 5 times a week dramatically reduces the rate of severe eating disorders in adolescent girls. This is some of the latest research that has shown that eating together helps adolescents avoid a wide variety of heath risks. Earlier studies by the University as well as others have already shown that eating together reduces obesity, drug use, smoking and suicidal thoughts. In September of 2007, the University released another study that demonstrated the lasting positive effects of eathing together as a family on adult diets. This study indicated that adolescents who eat meals with their family more likely to have healthy eating habits as adults, such as eating more fruits, vegetables, key nutrients and less soft drinks.
We at LOGOS have always stressed the importance of Family Time and are encouraged by all of the information in these studies. Our newest LOGOS@Home lectionary-based family resource on CD is designed just for that purpose. It is meant to help families enjoy time together around a shared meal that will strengthen relationships and provide for a more healthy environment. It helps to foster an environment of caring. This caring is reflected not only in the joy that is shared but also the sorrows and heart aches. It is a reminder to us that Jesus often chose mealtimes to talk to his disciples. The rituals of sharing meals together provide for an arena of bonding and belonging.
Hopefully this research will create a movement back to the family dinner table.