Family dinner not so important? Study questions value of sharing meals


October 9, 2012 1:35:11 PM PDT
A lot of parents feel guilty because family meals aren't always possible in their busy household. But now a new study is questioning the importance of these gatherings.

It finds there is no evidence to support the widely held belief that sharing family meals improves children's school performance or reduces their risk of behavior problems.

Scientists reporting in the journal Child Development say they were surprised at the findings. They are not suggesting that families should not eat meals together, because it's an important place to interact and communicate. It may just be that the nature and extent of the gathering may be different than previously thought.