The risk of depression, alcoholism and drug addiction is low among teenagers who have family meals together, according to a new study commissioned by the Families Commission in New Zealand.
The study looked at data collected from 9000 secondary
school pupils. 1/3 young people reported sharing meals with their families 7 or more times a week and about 40% shared meals 3-6 times a week. It was found that those who ate with their families frequently were less likely to report suicidal thoughts, were less likely to be smokers and less likely to indulge in binge-drinking, marijuana use and inconsistent contraception. Only 10% students who shared meals with parents were smokers as against the 25% who had infrequent family meals.
Thus family meals go a long way in building strong and healthy relationships.