Almost all Kiwis with children believe having dinner together regularly is a vital part of family life – yet for those struggling to make ends meet doing this at least five times a week is tough.
An estimated 98 per cent of Kiwi families with children believed having a regular family dinner was important, but only 45 per cent of the most deprived families did this five or more nights a week.
In comparison almost 60 per cent of the least deprived families had dinner five or more nights a week.
The findings, in a Curia Market Research poll, commissioned by Family First NZ, found of 1000 Kiwis surveyed 67 per cent of Kiwis who did not have children, believed a family dinner was important.
A gender split was obvious with 80 per cent of women saying family dinners were very important, compared with 55 per cent of men.
Oxford University research, released this year, showed that the more often people eat with others the more likely they are to feel happy and satisfied with their lives.
Author and professor of the experimental psychology department at Oxford University Robin Dunbar said it was known that social networks were key in combating mental and physical illness.
“A significant proportion of respondents felt that having a meal together was an important way of making or reinforcing these social networks.
“In these increasingly fraught times, when community cohesion is ever more important, making time for and joining in communal meals is perhaps the single most important thing we can do – both for our own health and wellbeing and for that of the wider community.”
READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=11968686&ref=twitter