Eating alone can increase your risk of developing a metabolic syndrome such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, a study claims.
Researchers studied the link between loneliness and health in men and women and found that men were more at risk to develop health problems.
Men who ate alone increased their risk of developing obesity by 45 percent while women’s risk stayed relatively the same.
Experts developed the study because people who live alone is increasing across the world, which can cause someone to feel lonely and make unhealthy choices when eating.
Researchers from Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital in Seoul, South Korea, studied 7,725 adults on how often they eat alone and compared it to their health.
The study, published in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, revealed that men who ate alone had a 45 percent increased risk for being obese and 64 percent for developing a metabolic syndrome.
These results were after the researchers adjusted for lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol use, age and the amount someone worked out per week.
Women in the study were 29 percent more likely to develop a metabolic syndrome if they ate alone twice or more per day.
But this percentage diminished after the researchers adjusted for lifestyle factors.
Previous studies have found that loneliness can increase the chances of someone eating more unhealthy foods.
If someone feels socially isolated, they might turn towards junk food instead of fruits and vegetables.
This will impact their health and can increase the likelihood of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol or prediabetes.
The researchers said in the study that they wanted to analyze the link between loneliness and metabolic disorders since household sizes are getting smaller.
More and more people are living on their own instead of with others.
The proportion of Americans living alone has increased from five percent of the population in 1920 to 27 percent in 2013.
This increase is attributed to people waiting longer to get married and divorce rates going up.
But experts warn that this can lead people to feeling socially isolated and will therefore impact what they eat when they are alone, especially for men.