Welcome to Episode 5.
In this episode we look at 10 Simple Rules for Healthy Eating.
Number 8 – Food is Social. (AKA Don’t be a loner if you can help it)
Just a quick episode today. Nav and I discuss how important it is to enjoy a social food experience.
Eat food in company. Preferably with people you care about. This has benefits even outside of nutrition. It will encourage you to cook and enhance your culinary creativity. It can help encourage healthy eating choices (1). You will most likely eat more slowly, which will improve your digestion. It will foster stronger social bonds and a sense of belonging (2). Ultimately it has a very good chance of making you a happier person and alleviating depression (3).
It may be a bit of a stereotype, but picture that Mediterranean family scene. The red and white check tablecloth. Sunshine. Smiles. A family banquet. Plenty of food to go around. Plenty of love to go around. While the day-to-day reality of meal preparation may be less idyllic and more frenetic, there are still huge positives in having that shared experience. Time to enjoy the meal. Time to hear about each other’s days. Time to reconnect as a family – away from devices and expectations.
It’s far too easy just to grab a plate and slink back to the room/desk/study. Food is meant to be social.
- The Association between Family Meals, TV Viewing during Meals, and Fruit, Vegetables, Soda, and Chips Intake among Latino Children. Andaya, A.A., Arredondo, E.M., Alcaraz, J.E., et al. National Institutes of Health. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2010 Oct 20
- Psychological resilience and positive emotional granularity: examining the benefits of positive emotions on coping and health. Tugade, MM., Fredrickson, BL., Barrett, LF. Department of Psychology, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY. Journal of Personality, 2004 Dec;72(6):1161-90
- Don’t hide your happiness! Positive emotion dissociation, social connectedness, and psychological functioning. Mauss,IB., Shallcross, AJ., Troy, AS., et al. University of Denver, Denver. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2011 Apr;100(4):738-48
- Food is Social by Simone Van Den Berg.
- How social networks can affect food choice decisions (Pubmed)
- How eating with friends makes for stronger bonds (Pubmed)