A recent study claims that eating alone can increase the risk of developing a metabolic syndrome such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
The researchers from Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital in Seoul, South Korea, studied 7,725 adults who were asked how often they eat alone and it was then compared to their health.
The study published in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice showed that there's a link between loneliness and health problems in both men and women. However, men were comparatively at a higher risk to develop health issues.
It was found that men who ate alone had a 45 percent increased risk of being obese and 64 percent of developing a metabolic syndrome after the researchers adjusted other factors such as cigarette and alcohol use, age, exercise, education level and occupation status.
The study authors note that all over the world, families in many regions have become smaller in recent decades and people feeling socially isolated might turn to junk foods and avoid healthy foods like fruits and vegetables.
This can impact their health and can increase the likelihood of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol or pre-diabetes.
The effect was, however, less pronounced for women. It was found that those who ate alone at least twice a day were 29 percent more likely develop metabolic syndrome than those who never ate alone, Time reported.
Americans who live alone have grown steadily since the 1920s, from roughly five percent then to 27 percent in 2013, according to the latest Current Population Survey from the Census Bureau. Experts warn that this can lead people to feel socially isolated and will impact what their eating choices when they are alone, especially for men.
Not only that, loneliness can also increase the risk of your death, as mentioned in another study by researchers at Brigham Young University. It showed that loneliness can increase your death risk by 45 percent.
"There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase the risk of premature mortality, and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators," said Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, professor of psychology at Brigham Young University.