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Family Meals Yield Benefits

As parents and children's schedules become more and more full these days, families often can't make time to eat together. But that family dinner may be more important than you think.

"In families that don't eat meals together, very frequently teenagers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors," said Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, of the Columbia University Teachers College. "This would include smoking and drinking. Children are more likely to do less well in school."

Brooks-Gunn said the research doesn't necessary prove that the lack of family meals causes risky behavior among teens, but it does suggest the value of eating together.

This article, written by Carol Anne Riddell, appeared on on January 20, 2006.

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