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Singletons' diets lead to weight gain

HealthBy Sunday World
Singletons' diets lead to weight gain

Living the single life has plenty of perks, from not having to share a bed to going out and flirting. However, new research has discovered that a healthy diet doesn't play a part in this existence, as people who don't have a partner and live alone are apparently more prone to putting on weight.

Scientists at the Queensland University of Technology have found people living by themselves are more likely to eat badly. Other factors such as poor cooking skills, the increased cost of food and no other half to do the food shop with also contribute to the problem.

Dr Katherine Hanna and Dr Peter Collins, from QUT's School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, used 41 previous studies to help them find a link between living solo and nutrient and food intake. It's the first broad research investigating this correlation, and findings were published in the Nutrition Reviews journal. It noted that men are more likely to have bad eating habits than females.

"Our results found that people who live alone have a lower diversity of food intake and a lower consumption of some core food groups like fruits and vegetables and fish," Dr Hanna explained.

"The research suggests living alone may represent a barrier to healthy eating that is related to the cultural and social roles of food and cooking. For example, a lack of motivation and enjoyment in cooking and/or eating alone often led to people preparing simple or ready-made meals lacking key nutrients."

The people living alone varied across age, education level and socioeconomic factors, and all had different reasons why they couldn't prepare healthy meals. Dr Hanna noted that a person who is bereaved or divorced may have relied on their former partner for meal preparation, and without them isn't knowledgeable enough to do it themselves. She also highlighted strategies which could help the problem.

"These include programs that focus on cooking skills for single people on a range of budgets, improved availability of affordable healthy food and developing socially acceptable opportunities for eating in communal settings," she added.

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