More than 60 percent of families in the U.S. said they ate family dinners together at least five nights during the past week, according to a new survey conducted by the Associated Press-iVillage Food, the Associated Press reported Nov. 12.
The new survey echoes many of the findings in The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA*) at Columbia University's The Importance of Family Dinners V report, released in September. More than a decade of CASA's research has found that there are many benefits to frequent family dinners, including that the more often kids eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs.
The latest survey found that family dinnertime remains a priority across a wide demographic range, including both Democrats and Republicans, religious people and non-religious people, and urban and rural families.
Only a quarter of the 1,000-plus families surveyed said the TV is on during dinner, and only five percent said texting or e-mailing is always taking place during dinner.
Judit Mohai, 34, from West Chicago, Ill., said she eats with her husband and two children four times a week. “It's very important because we're sitting together,” said Mohai. “I did it with my family. My husband did it with his family. It's just kind of normal.”
*The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University is neither affiliated with, nor sponsored by, the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (also known as “CASA”) or any of its member organizations with the name of “CASA.”