What Your Living Situation Says About Your Health
When you live alone, you never have to fight for space in the medicine cabinet, you can watch whatever you want on TV whenever you want, you can dance around your apartment or house with wild abandon, and you're free to eat an entire pint of ice cream for dinner in your underwear without being judged.
And while many people suggest living alone at least once in your life, new research out of Australia says that a solo living situation could be very, very bad for your diet and health.
By looking at 41 studies, researchers at Queensland University of Technology found that both men and women who lived alone ate less produce and fish and had less variety in their diets compared to people who lived with roommates or significant others.
According to Dr. Katherine Hanna, one of the study's authors, "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." Overall, men who lived alone were more likely to have a poor diet than women.
As far as why this is the case, Hanna sites inadequate cooking skills, no partner to go shopping with, increased cost of food, and lack of motivation to cook, which leads solo dwellers to prepare "simple or ready-made meals lacking key nutrients."
Of course there are many factors at play in a single-person household. The study acknowledges age, socioeconomic factors, and emotions (recently divorced or widowed, etc.) as possible influencers for why someone living alone might eat a less-balanced diet than a person who lives with roommates or family.
So when you get home tonight, you might want to say thanks to your roommates for keeping you healthy, even if you hate having to clean their hair out of the shower drain.