South Dakota Leads Nation With Families That Eat Together, Which Leads To Better Kids
In today's hectic and busy world, it's almost impossible to get the family all sitting around the dinner table at the same time. Between parents often times having to work different schedules and kids either working a part-time job of their own or taking part in extra-curricular activities like sports or music, the Norman Rockwell portrait of the family all sitting down to eat together often isn't an option.
But according to a study conducted for the Corporation for National and Community Service, South Dakota families make more time for each other than any other state. About 93% of South Dakotans say they make it a point to eat dinner with their families daily or at least several times a week.
The study says the South Dakota number of 93% is about five points higher than the national average, which is 87.8%.
92% of Nebraska and Indiana residents admit to sharing meals regularly with their families, and about 91% of families in Alaska, Arizona, Maine, Vermont and Wyoming make time to bond over the dinner table with their families.
The state with the lowest percentage of families that say they eat dinner together on a regular basis is New Mexico at 76.5%, followed by one of the busiest places in the United States, Washington D.C. Only about 79.4% of families in the D.C. area admit to being able to find time to eat together as a family.
As impossible as it can seem to be at times to get everyone together for a meal, parents should make the effort to make it happen. Children that grew up in homes where the families ate together seem to benefit positively.
Studies by the University of Illinois, Columbia University and the University of Minnesota found that boys and girls that ate with their families were more likely to be successful in school, have positive friendships, eat more fruits and vegetables and were less likely to start smoking or drinking alcohol.