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The Erosion of
Family Traditions

 
 
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"Recent research shows that 10 to 40 percent of families never or seldom eat together and that segment is growing"

(Martha Marino & Sue Butkus "Meals Together Improve Family Nutrition"- Washington State University)

 

When adults and children eat together, children do better in school and have fewer behavior problems. Communication improves between children and adults. Teenagers are less apt to use alcohol and drugs. Children understand their family's values and traditions. Traditions are created around food and meals.

 

Health Care Crisis

The number 1 killer among all Americans is cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Scientists now believe that over one-third of cancers are directly related to a lack of proper nutrition, and diets that are high in fat and low in fiber. (Tamiya King author of "Preventing Cancer through Diet & Nutrition")

 

1.8 trillion US dollars is spent on healthcare which is 4 times the amount spent on National Defense and 40 times the amount spent on Homeland Security. Every 30 seconds in the U.S. someone files bankruptcy due to a serious health problem. (Harvard University Study)

 

Eating Out and The Cost

Each additional meal away from home adds 134 calories."Holding all else constant, one additional meal away from home each week translates into roughly 2 extra pounds a YEAR!" (The Impact of Food Away from Home on Adult Diet Quality - Jessica Tode, Lisa Mancino, & Biing-Hwan Lin)

 

When you eat out or use processed foods, you buy labor. Compare the price of a McDonald's meal versus the cost of making something similar at home.

When you make a meal at home you will have Labor but it will be the labor of love with your family, which is priceless.

 

"A single meal in a fast food place has enough calories to meet a person's caloric requirement for an entire day." -National Institute of Health


An average family of 4 spends $25 at a fast food restaurant twice a Week - $2,600.00/year

 

Healthy Development

Numerous studies clearly show that eating dinner at home as a family has a lasting impact on the healthy development of children. When adults and children eat together, children do better in school and have fewer behavior problems. Communication improves between children and adults. Teenagers are less apt to use alcohol and drugs. Children understand their family's values and traditions. Traditions are created around food and meals.


A 1994 survey by Louis Harris & Associates had 2,000 seniors take an academic test.

Research found that "Students who regularly ate dinner with their families 4 or more times a week scored better than those who ate dinner 3 or fewer times a week.Result crossed racial lines and were greater indicator than.two parent family."

 

An 8-Year Harvard Study of 65 children over the age of 8 found family dinners to be the activity that most fostered healthy child development.


Dr. Bowden states that when eating as a family 5.4 days a week versus 3.3 days, teens were "less likely to do drugs or be depressed and were more motivated at school and had better relationships."

 

Cullen and Baranowski found that "students in grades 4 to 6 who ate dinners with their families consumed more vegetables, more fruit and juice and less soda..and they used more low fat practices" (such as trimming fat from the meat and using low fat foods at meals).