Study Confirms That Living Alone Leads to Terrible Eating Habits

“My boyfriend is out of town, so I’ll probably eat popcorn and ice cream for dinner,” a friend of mine recently joked. It seems intuitive: when we’re only feeding ourselves, it’s easy to make unhealthy and even totally weird meal choices.

recent survey from the Queensland University of Technology confirms that people who eat alone are less likely to have healthy diets. The researchers found that people who live alone not only eat a less diverse diet, but also eat less fruits and vegetables.

The researchers have a number of ideas of what might contribute to worse diets for single people. First, there’s the absence of accountability to others, or the potential encouragement to eat well from others. The lack of social pleasures of cooking and eating with family or roommates may also lead people to eat simpler dishes or pre-packaged meals.

Lack of cooking skills, particularly for men, might also be part of the problem. That particularly goes for divorced or widowed people who might have previously relied on a partner to cook. The study found that single men have poorer diets than their female counterparts.

Finally, single people may eat fewer fruits and veggies because it can be harder for one person to keep fresh produce at home without it going bad or making frequent grocery shopping trips. “Economic factors also explain lower consumption of foods like fruits and vegetables and fish, as they require more frequent purchase and consumption,” says researcher Dr. Katherine Hanna.

This research supports similar findings in other populations. For example, a 20-year study conducted in Europe found that older people who live alone eat fewer servings of vegetables per day.

Assuming that the solo dining habits of the U.S. population are similar to the those of the Australians (it may not be), this research could point to a potential health concern for the already not-too-stellar American diet. Earlier this year, a study found that 60 percent of Americans eat alone on a regular basis.

Something to think about the next time you’re dining alone.

Written by Margaret Badore. Reposted with permission from TreeHugger. 

80 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Rose Becke
Rose Becke2 years ago

They didn't put me in this study

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Aleisha D.
Aleisha D3 years ago

can confirm.

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Barb Hansen
Ba H3 years ago

living alone and being left alone are two different things. don't worry, not all singles eat popcorn and ice cream for dinner

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Joemar Karvelis
Joemar Karvelis3 years ago

Thanks

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Dimitris Dallis
Past Member 3 years ago

Study confirms once more that we don't need to take seriously the studies :)

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Dita Ĺ kaliÄŤ

People often encourage each other to eat healthy but this does not mean that everyone will get unhealthy habits after moving in on his or her own. For some people, habits even improve when they no longer have to adjust to wishes of others.

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Angela K.
Angela K3 years ago

I agree with Monika :-)

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Monika A.
Monika A3 years ago

Well...I live alone. I wouldn't insist that I'm master of cooking, but I can't also complain . Maybe this will be not modest, but I don't have terrible eating habits, on the contrary they are good and well-balanced, in my opinion.
Personally I think, eating habits are not at all connected with living in relationship or not... The question is , do we respect itself or not.

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Ricky T.
Ricky T3 years ago

A little disingenuous study. If you share, you can always pick-up from someone else's bd food habit, in conclusion, it's about you're own self-control, otherwise same can be said about work colleagues etc.

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