Teens Skip Family Dinner, Higher Drug Risk

GAINESVILLE, Fla., Sept. 28 (UPI) — U.S. teens who eat fewer than three family dinners per week are more than twice as likely to say they expect to try drugs in the future, researchers say.

Dr. Scott Teitelbaum, an associate professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the University of Florida College of Medicine and medical director of the Florida Recovery Center, and colleagues say the report reveals that 72 percent of teens think eating dinner frequently with their parents is very or fairly important.

Compared with teens who have frequent family dinners — five to seven times per week — those who have infrequent family dinners are:

– Twice as likely to have used tobacco.

– Almost twice as likely to have used alcohol.

– One-and-a-half times more likely to have used marijuana.

The report, “The Importance of Family Dinners VI,” was issued by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in New York.

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