ARLINGTON, VA. - A new study conducted by The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior for FMI – The Food Industry Association strongly confirms the benefits of families eating meals together. The study found that families who eat meals together are more likely to have better dietary habits and higher quality family functioning.

"It is particularly fitting that as we celebrate National Nutrition Month, we can confirm that family meals are a valuable contributor of improved nutrition and family functioning,” said David Fikes, executive director of the FMI Foundation. “This compelling evidence energizes us to expand our National Family Meals Month efforts to a year-long Family Meals Movement."

Overwhelmingly, studies show positive relationships between increased family meal frequencies and increased intake of fruits and vegetables. Family mealtime is also shown to improve family connectedness, communication, expressiveness and problem-solving.

The new data further supports FMI Foundation’s annual National Family Meal Month. In previous years that month has been observed in September, but on the heels of the new study, the month has expanded into the Family Meals Movement, which starts now.

FMI is encouraging consumers to join the movement by pledging to share one more family breakfast, lunch, or dinner at home per week using items from the grocery store. Shoppers can share pledge photos, mealtime pictures, recipes, shopping tips using the hashtag #FamilyMealsMovement. More information about the movement can be found here.