New Year Resolution: Let’s put our phones away and spend quality family time

By The American Heart Association

These days it is common to see families in restaurants sitting together and eating a meal without talking between them; instead, each family member is on their cell phone, creating a high level of stress while receiving work emails or homework reminders to set a few examples.

Sitting together as a family and having a conversation will reduce the stress on each individual, including children. It will help you to bond and connect with your family.

The American Heart Association releases a new survey highlighting mealtime's impact on mental well-being. Of the 1,000 U.S. adults nationwide surveyed in September 2022 the vast majority (84%) say they wish they could share a meal more often with loved ones. Nearly all parents report lower stress levels in their family when they regularly connect over dinner.

Connecting with friends, family, coworkers and neighbors benefits people beyond stress relief. In fact, the survey found 67% of people say sharing a meal remind them of the importance of connecting with other people, and 54% say it reminds them to slow down and take a break.

Those surveyed say they are more likely (59%) to make healthier food choices when eating with other people but have difficulty aligning schedules with their friends or family to do so, according to the survey. Overall, respondents reported eating alone about half of the time.

If you visit the American Heart Association web page you will find many tips on conversation starting points during meal time, as other attractive campaigns such as Talking Tuesday.

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