1 in 10 families never sits down for an evening meal together: Survey

October 27th, 2010 - 2:10 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Oct 27 (ANI): A new survey has revealed that one in ten families never sit down to an evening meal together.

And, worryingly, of the few who do manage to sit down together, one in five families then spend less than ten minutes at the table.

Almost ten per cent of people admitted they don’t eat a meal with their partner and children on a weeknight, with another one in ten saying it only happens once a week.

The study of 3,000 adults also revealed two thirds of kids yearns for a return to the traditional family dinnertime.

And four out of ten children have even asked their mum or dad to have more evening meals as a family.

“For many families, the evening meal is the one part of the day where they can all get together and catch up,” the Daily Mail quoted Fiona Johnston, marketing controller for Bisto Aah Night survey, as saying.

“But it seems we’re letting pressures from our work and school lives get in the way.

“After everyone is home from their day at school and work, sitting around the dinner table means you get some time to have some real quality time as a family.

“Unfortunately, it seems this isn’t happening in many households with people eating at different times, or in different rooms of the house instead,” Johnston added.

The study also revealed that long working hours were blamed by most with 40 per cent admitting that shifts and late nights in the office meant missing out on a family dinner.

Another 36 per cent said the family all eats at different times, while 16 per cent even said they wanted to watch something on the TV instead of sitting down together.

But researchers also found that just half of families have their evening meal at the dinner table, with more than a third saying they are more likely to eat it on the sofa or in front of the TV.

Almost one in twenty people even said the family all eats their meal in different parts of the house.

Despite this, 94 per cent of people reckon the evening meal is a great time for families to catch up together.

And almost three quarters want to make more effort to get their family sitting down for dinner together.

But even those who do manage to sit at the table together don’t always have the quality time together thanks to mobile phones, television and computer games.

More than a third of adults and children watch TV while sat at the dinner table, and another 18 per cent make phone calls or send text messages on their mobile.

Sixteen per cent read a book or magazine instead of having a conversation with their loved ones, while nine per cent admitted to playing computer games. (ANI)

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