Does Your Family Eat Together?
by Nurse Kimberly
This past Thursday on CNN’s American Morning show I found one segment, featuring Dr. Mark Hyman, to be very interesting. Dr.Hyman is the founder of The UltraWellness Center. He claims that eating at home can save your life! He went on to explain that children who eat family dinners at home do better in school, have better grades, are less likely to do drugs/drink alcohol, and even lose weight. I think this also applies to adults in the work place and in relationships.
Another shocking statistic Dr. Hyman revealed was that 100 years ago only two percent of families ate meals away from home and now fifty percent of meals are eaten away from home. What I found to be most sad is that one in five breakfasts are spent in a McDonald’s Drive thru. Could this be why one in five children is obese? Does it take any longer to toss some whole grain cereal in a baggie and some grapes in another when you are pinched for time? No, it doesn’t but when you are in a habit of doing anything it is hard to break.
Eating fast food and not preparing the majority of meals at home was a key factor for why I spent over twenty years of my life overweight. It doesn’t take some one with a background in research to figure that out. It’s not easy to change the convenience of instant and effortless food. But when you know the health risks and have experienced the pain, the time comes for you to make change happen.
Now I only eat out maybe once a week. Sometimes its at Subway after the gym or a special evening out. It is never a super sized combo meal at McDonalds or Burger King. Cooking at home and eating as a family might be difficult at first, especially if everyone normally eats in front of the television or at different times. Start slow and try it out on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If those days don’t work find the days that will work. If eating dinner and breakfast at home can improve your child’s performance at school and help everyone’s health, isn’t worth a shot?
Let me know your thoughts on eating at home vs. fast food and some of the ways your family overcomes busy schedules in order to make time for this. There is no right or wrong answer but if we start sharing our ideas and solutions maybe the current 50% of families who eat away from home will decrease to 40% next year. Maybe this would also help decrease the devastating number of people suffering from obesity.