Headlines are quick to scream that solitary eating has a dark side, but the science is more complex

While many people enjoy eating alone, recent headlines have been quick to scream that it has a dark side. But is it really bad for you?

Research into eating alone is sparse, but some studies have suggested the practice might be linked to problems including depression, a blockage of blood supply to the heart, obesity and having metabolic syndrome: a combination of conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Analysis of a survey of about 8,000 adults by Oxford Economics and the National Centre for Social Research for Sainsbury’s suggested eating alone has a stronger link to being unhappy than any other factor except mental illness.

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Read More Is it true that eating alone is bad for you?

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