FaceTime, not face time, around the dinner table

woman taking a photo of her salad with a cell phoneTechnology has become such a ubiquitous part of our everyday lives. For many, it’s the first thing we do in the morning – even before brushing our teeth! As an “always-on” society, our devices even have a reserved seat at our family dinner table.

We’ve all read about millennials’ umbilical-like attachment to their devices. But, a recent Nielsen global survey on cross-generational eating habits may surprise you. Globally, this is a breakdown of the percentage of mealtimes that were not technology-free, by generation:

  • • 38% of Gen Z’s (those aged 15-20) mealtimes – this generation is considered the “iGeneration”
  • • 40% of millennials’ (those aged 21-34) mealtimes
  • • 45% of Gen Xers’ (those aged 35-49) mealtimes
  • • 52% of Baby Boomers’ (those aged 50-64) mealtimes – the highest percentage!
  • • 42% of the Silent Generation’s (aged 65+) mealtimes

So, what’s the big deal? Studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a distracted mealtime (in this study, in front of the television) leads to people consuming more during the meal, and a higher frequency of snacking afterwards. One British report even puts the number at 25% greater calorie intake when distractedly eating.