Where has the family meal gone?

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tv dinner flickr Magnus D, flickr.com In the UK, the average amount of time spent watching TV is four hours a day compared with five hours in the US. Picture: Magnus D, flickr.com

London - Extended working hours, lengthy commutes and children’s commitments mean families seldom get home at the same time and rarely eat their evening meal together, a new study has revealed.

The study found that 10 percent of families never have a family meal together in the week and less than a third sit down every night.

It is fathers who are the worse culprits for missing the family supper, followed by teenage children.

According to the study, the main reason for absenteeism at family meal times is parents working late, followed by after-school commitments.

Of those polled, 15 percent said their lengthy commute was to blame and one in five said domestic chores got in the way of a family get-together in the week.

The survey found that a third said they wished they sat for supper more regularly.


Nick Thorogood, senior vice-president of content and marketing for the Food Network, which carried out the research, said: “It is astonishing to see that the traditional family meal is on the way out, with only four in 10 families making the time to sit down for supper twice a week or more. – Daily Mail



1. Parents working too late.

2. All wanting to eat at different times.

3. Shift work.

4. After-school commitments.

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.

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