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Commensality (the act of eating together) is studied in a range of disciplines and often considered important for social communion, order, health and well-being, while simultaneously being understood as in decline (especially the family meal). However, such claims are also contested in various ways. In this paper, we discuss the expanding field of commensality research and critically reflect on the debates surrounding its social functions, including its role in public health. We illuminate thedoi:10.3390/ijerph18126235 pmid:34207626 fatcat:v4vzofdov5ga7if7jmzmds2xee