Eating Family Meals Together Can Reduce Stress

Eating dinner together can help ease stress among family members, according to the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good Survey.

What to Know

  • Chronic stress can increase lifetime risk of heart disease and stroke, but having meals at regular times with others can help reduce and manage stress and can help people to slow down and connect with others.

  • Up to 91% of parents report lower levels of stress among their family when they connect regularly over a meal, and doing so helps boost self-esteem and improve social connection, particularly for kids.

  • Overall, most people say they eat alone about half of the time, but 84% of adults wish they could share a meal with others more often.

  • More than half of those surveyed say they are more likely to make healthier food choices when eating with other people but that they have difficulty aligning schedules with their friends or family to do so.

  • About 65% of adults say they are at least somewhat stressed, and more than a quarter are very or extremely stressed.

This is a summary of the article, “New Survey: 91% of Parents Say Their Family Is Less Stressed When They Eat Together,” published by the American Heart Association on October 10, 2022. The full article can be found on

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