My mother always had us sit down and start eating together as a family, and no one could leave the table before the meal was officially over. As it turns out, this could actually have helped most of us avoid the obesity epidemic flooding the world. According to a study carried out by the University of Minnesota, children are less likely to become overweight or obese if they eat meals as a family. A positive, friendly, and calm environment featuring pleasant conversation can help children to be more mindful of what they are eating, and the positive atmosphere reduces the risk that they will overeat. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Source: paradigmmalibu.com[/caption] In households where the children were obese or overweight, the atmosphere at the dinner table was generally less pleasant, with a bit more chaos. Frequent family meals have been linked to a reduced risk of obesity, particularly if there is a positive ambience encouraging conversation and bonding. One more great reason why TV dinners are just a horrible idea!