Eating with families may improve parent mental health

Researchers in New Zealand and the United States recently published a study in Preventive Medicine, showing a connection between families eating together and the emotional health of those families.

Researchers examined meal frequency of nearly 900 parents, as well as indicators of nutritional, social, and emotional wellbeing.

What the researchers discovered was that parents who frequently ate together with their families enjoyed the following 4 qualities:

  1. Higher levels of family functioning
  2. Greater personal self-esteem
  3. Lower levels of personal depression
  4. Lower levels of personal stress

As a plus, frequent family meals were also connected with higher fruit and vegetable consumption among the parents.

Finally, the researchers found that the benefits of frequent family meals benefited parents without regard for gender.

This study joins a growing body of research showing a strong connection between nutrition and mental health. Here at Truehope, we’ve been promoting nutrition as mental health treatment for over 20 years.

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