In a recent survey of 1,000 people, only 36% of households regularly eat together at the table and 15% say they never eat a main meal together during a week.
The aim of the ‘Together at the table’ campaign is to encourage households to change their mealtimes and bring families together for the good of their heart health.
According to research published in *Paediatrics 2011, shared mealtimes reduce your chances of being overweight (12%), eating unhealthy foods (20%) and having disordered eating (35%), whilst making you more likely to eat healthy foods (24%).
“This evidence suggests that eating together at the table could offer a simple solution to the nation’s obesity challenge as well as providing a range of wider benefits to family health and wellbeing.” Heart Research UK Lifestyle Manager, Barbara Dinsdale.
The survey also revealed that 50% of households don’t wish to eat together any more often than they currently do, and 10% even associate eating together negatively – citing missing television programmes, children complaining, stress and boredom.
“We don’t always get the chance to sit down together because of our hectic lifestyles, but we’ve started to sit around the table for meals at weekends, particularly having a Sunday roast. It is nice to spend quality time together as a family, relax and catch up and I think it is important to invest in what has become something very special. The fact that it is healthier too makes it even more important.” Martin Ramsey, father of two.