Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of stress in your life? A new study has found that one way to reduce stress is to eat together as a family. The American Heart Association looked at data from a study of families and found that parents were less stressed when they ate regular meals with their children.
So, if you’re looking for a way to reduce stress in your life, try eating dinner with your family every night. You may be surprised at how much it helps!
A nationwide survey has found that the vast majority of people wish they could share a meal with loved ones more often. Parents were also found to report lower levels of stress when they regularly connect over a meal. Due to these findings, the American Heart Association will share budget-friendly and practical meal tips each Tuesday through December to make it easier for families to come together.
Co-author of the study, Michos, M.D, M.H.S, said, “Sharing meals with others is a great way to reduces stress, boost self-esteem and improve social connection, particularly for kids.”
“Chronic constant stress can also increase your lifetime risk of heart disease and stroke, so it is important for people to find ways to reduce and manage stress as much as possible, as soon as possible.”
This study found that 67% of people said that sharing a meal reminds them of the importance of connecting with other people, while 54% said it reminds them to slow down and take a break.
59% of participants surveyed also said that they were more likely to make healthier food choices when eating with other people. However, this same number of people noted difficulty aligning schedules with friends or family to do so. Overall, participants reported eating alone about half the time.
Previous studies have shown that chronic stress can increase the lifetime risk of stroke and heart disease. The majority of adults (65%) say they are at least somewhat stressed and more than a quarter (27%) are extremely or very stressed.
This study clearly shows that stress is a prevalent issue in American society, but a simple lifestyle change can help. If you are one of the many Americans suffering from stress, try taking time to enjoy a family dinner at least a few times a week!
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