Families no longer spending meal times together
Increasing numbers of families no longer have a traditional sit-down evening meal, new figures suggest.
According to a leading furniture retail company, shifting patterns of family life mean that people are now far less likely to sit around a dining room or kitchen table at dinner time.
Changing work patterns, the lure of television and computers, and other sport and leisure activities mean that even the traditional Sunday roast is taking a battering, the TradeFurnitureCompany.co.uk says.
“Busy families are simply unable to get together at meal times these days,” said TradeFurnitureCompany.co.uk‘s Tony Clark Managing Director, “and family life is much the worse for this trend.”
According to TradeFurnitureCompany.co.uk‘s figures, 46% of families no longer share an evening meal together every day. Asked if they have a traditional family roast dinner once a week, 70% said that they do not.
Further, half of families say they eat in front of the television at least once a week, reflecting figures from earlier studies.
Reasons given for why families no longer eat together (respondents gave multiple answers):
Eating in separate rooms 32%
Eating in front of the TV or computer 49%
Work patterns 56%
“No time” 18%
“We don’t cook a main meal” 12%
“We don’t think it’s important to eat together” 30%
Not everybody at home 42 %
Don’t get on with family members 9%
“Family values have certainly changed,” said Tony, “and it’s obvious that the lure of multiple television, computer and phone screens are dragging people away from what were once traditional household activities.”
The TradeFurnitureCompany.co.uk says it supports any campaign to bring families back together around a dining table.
“Research paper after research paper show that families that eat together are more stable,” said Tony, “Psychologists also argue that a main family meal teaches children how to behave in social situations, while dieticians say they ensure kids eat healthier.”
“As they say – the family that eats together stays together. The disintegration of family values can be halted round the kitchen table.”