The benefits of family meals are reassessed

"The statistics are clear," Nancy Gibbs wrote in a Time magazine article from 2006: "Kids who dine with the folks are healthier, happier and better students". She's right, there is lots of evidence showing these positive associations, and there are plausible explanations for the benefits, such as a chance for children and parents to talk, and the sense of structure that the ritual provides.

A new study reported on our Research Digest suggests the picture may be more complicated than that.