The tradition of family getting together to eat meals is disappearing. What are the reasons? Is this a negative or positive development?
The tradition of family members having meals together has declined significantly. This can be attributed to a range of social factors and from my perspective, I consider it to be a detrimental trend.
Perhaps , the underlying cause of declining family mealtime is the modern lifestyle. These days, people spend most of their time outside of their home. They often commute to offices or schools, stay there for the day and only return home in the evening. This coupled with the fact that family size is getting smaller and women are increasingly pursuing their independent careers, makes it impossible for family members to cook and eat together frequently. Furthermore, the ubiquity of fast food outlets and convenience foods has encouraged people to dine out rather than come back home for meals.
The lack of family mealtime can have adverse impacts on individuals and society as a whole. A major problem is that eating junk food instead of home-cooked dishes can increase people’s risks of serious diseases such as diabetes and obesity. In addition, food is considered the most effective medium to connect people together, and thus a decline of family meals means less opportunities for bonding. Weakened family cohesion might lead to pressing societal problems, including family breakdown and child delinquency. If people feel disconnected from their loved ones, they tend to underestimate the value of family life, resulting in an alarming rise of dysfunctional families. Children growing up in such troubled households are more likely to become delinquents or even criminals later, posing a severe threat to society. Without quality family mealtime, adults may also suffer from inadequate emotional support and thus be vulnerable to depression and anxiety disorder.
In conclusion, radical changes in modern lifestyles might be culpable for the gradual disappearance of family meals. This can leave unfavorable impacts on children’s development, jeopardize people’s well-being and undermine social cohesion.
(Copyright by Duong Vu – IDV Ielts)
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