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Along with the new life models of modern society, the number of people who live alone has increased, and this study has compared whether there is a difference between the diet of those who live alone and those who live with others. The result manifests a much simpler and limited diet on the part of those who live alone, so their nutritional intake is not adequate and could even trigger health problems.
"Research suggests that living alone represents an obstacle to healthy eating because of the social and cultural roles that exist around food and cooking," explains study co-author Dr. Katherine Hanna.
Lack of skill in the kitchen is one of the key factors, as many of these people do not know what to cook or how to cook it, so they take the quick option of the pre-cooked dish. It is also the case in which they know a few recipes with a very reduced preparation, which leads to a repetitive and unhealthy diet.
“For example, the lack of motivation or enjoyment when it comes to cooking (…) leads people to opt for simple or pre-cooked dishes, with low nutritional value,” adds Dr. Hanna.
People who live alone vary in age range, gender, education and socioeconomic status, but in general many of them may not be ready to cook for themselves for a number of different reasons.
“For example, a person who is widowed or divorced may have left the role of cooking and food preparation to his partner in the past. Therefore they lack sufficient skills in the kitchen to make healthy meals, ”he says.
Still, she says there are a number of strategies that can help us address potential barriers to healthy eating for people who live alone.
"These include courses that focus on cooking skills in a wide range of prices, a greater availability of healthy foods and a development of socially accepted places to eat in common places."