September 19, 2019

Eat on the Couch, Why Don't You?

“According to a recent survey of more than 1,000 American adults, the table is becoming a less and less popular surface to eat on. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they grew up typically eating dinner at a kitchen table, but a little less than half said they do so now when eating at home.

Where are they dining instead? The couch and the bedroom are both far more popular now than in the respondents’ youth. Thirty percent of the survey takers cited the couch as their primary at-home eating location, and 17 percent took meals in the bedroom. To put it another way, the number of respondents who most often eat at a kitchen table nowadays is roughly the same as the number who eat either on the couch or in their bedroom.

Those figures come from June, a company that sells internet-connected ovens. As such, they should be treated with a bit of caution, since they were likely published as marketing fodder rather than purely in the interest of public knowledge. (The pool of respondents was equally split between men and women, but probably wasn’t nationally representative in terms of other demographic factors.) Nonetheless, when I brought these findings to the attention of several food scholars, all of them said that these patterns ring true—and, more broadly, that something seems to be changing in the way people eat at home.”

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