The latest survey into Brits’ eating habits has revealed an ambivalent relationship with meals and nutrition. When asked where they enjoyed eating the most, one in three respondents chose the dinner table (top preference). 70% even went to argue that family relationships are positively affected when eating around the dining table, as are a child’s development (38%) and general mental health (28%).
However, what works in theory does not always translate in practice. The survey of more than 2,000 UK residents, commissioned by furniture retailer Furniture Village, highlighted that despite best intentions, reality differs from theory. Even when they acknowledged the benefits of eating around the dinner table, when asked why they didn’t do so every day, the most popular choice was watching TV while they ate (41%). In fact, 54% of respondents admitted the preference for watching TV over conversations to be the top reason they don’t eat regularly at the dining table, followed by time spent on phones and technology (42%) and late working hours.
Commenting on this trend, family therapist, Dr Reenee Singh said: “Sitting around a dining table without digital distractions can provide an opportunity for the whole family to talk about their day. Children can learn good table manners and the art of having a conversation whilst eating and can also develop an appreciation for good food.”
Nutritionist Samantha Paget added: “Food choices may be negatively impacted by eating away from the dining table – with the temptation to grab something that’s easier to eat, which doesn’t often contain a wide variety of fresh nutrients.”
The survey findings also point to food choices being impacted. Despite almost three in four (73%) Brits stating they mostly eat meals cooked at home from fresh ingredients, a considerable 30% admit to ordering takeaways at least once a week, with one in ten (9%) choosing them over homecooked meals at least four times a week.
When it comes to our workplaces, more than one in three (36%) professionals eat at their desks almost every day of the week (at least four days). This functional relationship with food may also explain why 14% end up eating on the go. On this, psychologist Dr Lucia Goimbini, said: “Eating alone can increase negative feelings such as anxiety and sadness, and also lead us to be disconnected from physical sensations such as hunger and fullness.”
The survey of more than 2,000 UK adults was commissioned by furniture retailer Furniture Village in a bid to encourage people to reclaim their dining table and enjoy the all the positive impacts it can have on our physical and mental health, from a reduction in over-eating and heightened enjoyment of food to better family relationships. To see all the tips, visit https://www.furniturevillage.co.uk/the-home-of-inspiration/dining/dining-table-article/a3e88ed5-9246-4385-a537-a26c8d81cdba.html