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New studies find values for families who eat meals together are signficant

New research confirms that teens who eat regular meals with their families are less likely to drink, smoke, use illegal drugs, or abuse prescribed medicines.

A family of farmers say a prayer before their meal together.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University released a report showing these rewarding benefits of family meals.

Other findings from various reports found other benefits.

A study of almost 5,000 middle and high school students revealed that children whose families eat together regularly consume more fruits and vegetables and less soft drinks than children who rarely eat with their families.

Children who eat with their families eat low-fat foods and have considerably higher consumption of dietary fiber and essential vitamins and minerals a Harvard study proved.

Another Harvard study discovered that teenagers who eat dinner with their families are less likely to experience risky eating behaviors such as purging, binging, and excessive dieting.

“Improved communication is a great outcome of family mealtimes,” says Elizabeth Hajek, a registered nurse from San Antonio, TX specializing in fitness and nutrition. “Studies show families who eat together have a stronger bond.”

“Face time is good time when it comes to shaping each family members minds about health, fitness, and emotions,” Hajek elaborated. “It’s important to have regular conversations among all the 'busyness' in the world. Dinner time should be family time.”

Children who eat with their families also tend to have better grades. Where do children learn their vocabulary, besides school?

There is a direct connection between families eating together and good grades, the Columbia University study noted.

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