How often do you eat alone? Sometimes? Always? Well, whatever it is, eating alone is bad for you. In this day and age when almost everyone is leading extremely busy lives, we hardly have any time to get together with our loved ones for meals. Families meeting at the dining table are becoming rarer by the day. Amid all the chaos of going to work, meeting deadlines, juggling between two jobs, we almost never pay attention to our mealtimes. We all have gotten into the habit of hurriedly gobbling down food by ourselves whenever we find a little time. Why waste your time on a busy day getting together for meals when you could eat alone and save time? I agree that eating alone might be saving you time, but it could cause more problems than you think.
Let me explain.
1) Eating alone increases the risk of obesity in men
Research shows that people who eat alone often tend to pick unhealthy food options over healthy ones. Well, who wants to cook a full meal just for one person right? Researchers from South Korea stated in a study that men who ate alone increased their risk of obesity by 45% when compared to men who ate with loved ones. This increased risk of obesity can be traced back to making unhealthy food choices while eating alone. Frozen food, fast food, and boxed foods are some of the most convenient food choices for single men. These foods are high in saturated fats and carbohydrates, which increase the risk of obesity. By simply sharing your meals with your loved ones, you can cut down on this risk to a great extent.
2) Men who eat alone are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome
If you are a man who eats at least two meals per day by yourself, then you might be in danger of developing metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a serious health condition that is known to affect over 23% of the adult population worldwide. People who have metabolic syndrome are often diagnosed with two or more metabolic conditions. For instance, if a person has high blood pressure along with high fasting sugar levels and increased cholesterol levels then that it is metabolic syndrome. This syndrome is closely associated with heart attacks and strokes and is more likely to affect men than women. Studies show that men who eat alone have a 64% higher risk of developing this.
This risk can be traced back to not cooking for yourself, making unhealthy food choices, and the stress of loneliness. Do yourself a favor and share your meals.
3) Eating alone can affect your mental health
The obvious implication of eating alone is the impact on the mental psyche. Sainsbury’s Living Well Index, developed in partnership with leading researchers at Oxford Economics conducted a study in the year 2018. This study surveyed over 8000 British Adults and found out that eating alone was the leading cause of unhappiness among them. People who eat alone often feel lonely and socially isolated leading to increased stress and tension. In the long run, this could make them easily vulnerable to anxiety and depression. Even here, men are susceptible to these conditions when compared to women.
Man is a social animal they said and rightly so. We as humans thrive on social interactions. And, in today’s times, these social interactions are becoming lesser by the day. At a dinner table with family and friends, we not only share food but also conversations, opinions, and thoughts, giving you your daily dose of physical social interaction. This makes you not only a lot healthier but also happier.
We know that you are a busy man but, try to have at least one meal with your family every day. If you are single, call your friends over for meals at least twice a week. You could also gather your neighbors together for meal sharing. While in office, make it a point to eat with your favorite colleagues. This will help you know them better and also keep your health in check.