Eating together as a family induces kids to eat more fruits and vegetables and helps them stave off obesity, according to researchers at Rutgers State University of New Jersey, US, based on analysing results from 68 separate studies.
They found those in families that regularly ate together reaped "numerous benefits, including increased intake of fruits, vegetables, fibre, calcium-rich foods, and vitamins."
Jennifer Martin-Biggers, doctoral student in nutritional sciences at Rutgers, said: "People who have more frequent family meals tend to have better diets. Children in such families also tended to do better at school," she added, the Telegraph reports.
The study was based on research into the eating habits of families in the US, where 40 percent of domestic food budgets are spent on eating out. In the UK, the proportion is about 30 percent, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.