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Here's Another Reason Family Dinner is So Important

The family that eats together might stay healthier together, according to a new study. 

Photography by: Michael Heffernan/Getty Images

Now that we know baking is officially healthy for us, we loved hearing how dining together can be just as beneficial.  


According to a recent study, families who make home-cooked meals together, and unplug during dinner time, have significantly lower levels of obesity. And if you’re thinking daily home-cooked meals is a tricky commitment with working late, soccer games, ballet lessons, and homework assignments, research showed the frequency of these family meals isn’t the main factor. 


“How often you are eating family meals may not be the most important thing. It could be what you are doing during these meals that matters more,” says lead study author, Rachel Tumin, PhD, of the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center. 


(MAKE: Home-cooking family meals extra easy with these recipes)


After analyzing data from over 12,000 participants, the Ohio study found that adults who opted out of flicking on the television during meals had a 37 percent lower rates of obesity than those who did use screens during meals. Families who also enjoyed home-cooked meals together had a 26 percent lower odds of obesity compared to those who ate some or no home-cooked family meals. 


(COOK: 45 quick and delicious on-demand dinners everyone will love) 


“Regardless of family meal frequency, obesity was less common when meals were eaten with the television off and when meals were cooked at home,” says Tumin. Though home-cooked meals are generally healthier than say, ordering pizza or dining out, the study still noted the importance of making healthy choices when cooking at home.


Watch how to make a delicious chicken dinner the whole family will love: