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Study: Families who eat together are less stressed

The poll of 1,000 people was carried out by the American Heart Association.

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By Gwyn Wright via SWNS

Families who eat together are less stressed, according to new research.

A survey claims 91 percent of parents notice their relatives are more relaxed when they all regularly sit down and eat as a family.

Chronic stress can raise the risk of a heart attack or stroke later in life but the results of the research suggest a simple family meal could be an easy way of managing it.

Even sharing a meal remotely around a phone or computer if they all have busy schedules still has a positive effect.

Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of us reported being somewhat stressed while more than a quarter (27 percent) said they are extremely stressed.

Researchers say finding time to connect with other people and slowing down were the biggest benefits of a family meal alongside stress reduction.

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Around half of the people were found to eat alone half the time and 84 percent of us wish we could share a meal together more often.

Just over two-thirds (67 percent) of people said sharing a meal reminded them of the importance of connecting with others while 54 percent said it reminds them to slow down and take a break.

Almost three-fifths (59 percent) of participants said they make healthier food choices when they sit down to eat with others but they often struggle to align their eating schedules with those of their friends and family.

Nearly seven in 10 (69 percent) of workers said they would feel less stressed on the job if they had some time to relax and share a meal with a co-worker.

The poll of 1,000 people was carried out by the American Heart Association (AHA).

family, eating and people concept - happy mother, father and daughter having breakfast at home
(Ground Picture via Shutterstock)

Dr. Erin Michos of the AHA said: “Sharing meals with others is a great way to reduce 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.

“We know it’s not always as easy as it sounds to get people together at mealtime.

“Like other healthy habits, give yourself permission to start small and build from there.

“Set a goal to gather friends, family or co-workers for one more meal together each week.

“If you can’t get together in person, think about how you can share a meal together over the phone or a computer.”

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