Tabletop Trivia – Shedding New Light on Dining Tables
Guest post by Hubert Dwight
The dining table has long been the centre of the family home and a place for sharing food, stories and experiences.
Most of us grew up recounting the events of our days, discussing current events or debating the latest hot topic in the news.
Much has been made in recent times of the decline of family communication due to the influx of digital media in our lives.
The popular wisdom is that kids and even parents are more engaged with their devices and social media feeds than they are in meaningful communication with each other.
There may be some truth to this premise, however, some recent studies have found that there is still plenty of hope that the humble dining table may yet be holding on to its critical role in our lives.
They’re Still Selling
After couches, dining tables are the second most commonly purchased item of furniture, coming in at a little under 20%.
Not bad going for an item that is said to be becoming redundant.
While it is also true that this number has been declining in recent years, it is clear that there is still plenty of relevance left on the table. (pardon the pun)
Dinner Table Conversation is Still Valued
It’s probably no shock that 80% of adults think that their kids are more likely to talk to them during mealtimes.
What’s surprising is that this appears to be one of the few things upon which teenagers actually agree with their parents!
Around 70% say that eating together with their parents is important.
Generation gap? . . . What generation gap?
Dining Tables Keep You Healthy
No, we’re not recommending bench pressing your table.
However, families eating together at a common table has been shown to have numerous positive influences on eating habits.
Studies have shown that such good family meal habits result in children getting a more balanced diet.
Children that eat together with their families are 25% more likely to eat healthier foods, and 12% less prone to obesity.
Family Dinners Promote Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Believe it or not, teens that regularly eat dinner with their families are at significantly lower risk of indulging in tobacco, alcohol and both prescription illicit drug abuse.
Studies have shown that teens in such families are up to three and a half times less likely to engage in these kinds of damaging behaviours.
Dining Tables Make Kids Smarter
According to one poll, almost twice as many kids do their homework at the dining table than at a designated homework or office space.
When compared to the bedroom, this number increases to a factor of 2.5.
Ok, so maybe that doesn’t actually mean that the table itself makes our young ones smarter but it does go to show just how important a part of their lives our “other 4 legged friends” are.
The Shape of Dining Tables Reflects Culture
In western countries, families tend to dish up their food onto personal plates and tuck in, hence the bulkier square or rectangular shape is favoured.
In Asian countries, by contrast, the emphasis is in sharing from a communal plate. Not surprisingly, these regions favour round tables, which allow for easier access to the grub.
The Longest Dining Table on Record was over 1.5km Long!
Custom built in 2015 in Saudi Arabia for people with special needs to eat their post-Ramadan fast “Iftar” meal, this incredible, winding table measured in at a whopping 1,508m in length!
Whatever your choice of dining table, there can be no doubt that enjoying a great meal and meaningful conversation is a fabulous way to us to bond with each other and establish healthy lifestyle patterns.
So, pull up a chair, sit at the table and Bon Appetite!