Families only manage to sit down together for dinner twice a week – with 10% NEVER eating together
10% of families confess they never sit down to eat at the same time
Fathers and teenage children are worst culprits for missing meal times
Commute and domestic chores to blame
14:18 GMT, 19 November 2012
Extended working hours, lengthy commutes and children's commitments mean families never get home at the same time and rarely eat their evening meal together, a new study has revealed.
The study found that 10 per cent of families never have a family meal together in the week and less than a third of Brits sit down every night.
It is fathers who are the worse culprits for missing the family dinner, followed by teenage children.
Ten per cent of families never have a family meal together in the week and less than a third of Brits sit down every night
According to the study, the main reason for absenteeism at family meal times is parents working too late to make it home in time, followed by after-school commitments.
Of those polled, 15 per cent said their lengthy commute was to blame and one in five said domestic chores got in the way of a good family get-together in the week.
The survey found that a third said they wished they sat for dinner more regularly and not just for special occasions.
Domestic chores and long commutes are to blame for families not sitting down and eating together in the week
Nick Thorogood, Senior Vice President of
Content and Marketing, Food Network EMEA, who carried out the research,
said: 'It is astonishing to see that the traditional family meal is on
the way out with only four in ten families making the time to sit down
for dinner twice a week or less.
TOP TEN REASONS FOR MISSING DINNER
1. Parents working too late
2. All wanting to eat at different times
3. Shift work
4. After school / sports clubs clashing
5. Everyone eating different types of food
6. Needing to get on with washing, cleaning ironing
7. Lengthy commute
8. Kids wanting to watch TV
9. Work issues getting in the way
10. Parents socialising
'Modern life means we all lead really
busy lives and the research shows that sitting down for a family dinner
every single night of the week is something that no longer happens.
'This is something most British families will be able to relate to as it is an unfortunate consequence of having hectic social and work lives, as well as kids having school and sporting commitments.
'It is very encouraging though to see that families still make an effort to get together for special occasions, like Christmas and birthdays.'
The study found that one in twenty parents said it was hard to get the family to eat together during the week because everybody likes to eat different food.
But despite this, 42 per cent of adults do encourage their family to eat together more often, with a third of parents claiming it’s their children inspiring big family get togethers.
Not surprisingly, 88 per cent of us plan to sit down together for Christmas dinner and 79 per cent always make an effort for birthdays.
One in ten of us are also making plans for a ‘Thank You Day’ meal – like the American Thanksgiving – to celebrate with their immediate family.