Association between eating behaviour and diet quality: eating alone vs. eating with others.

Nutrition journal. 2018;17(1):117
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Selecting foods for a day is easily influenced by the social environment and eating together or alone plays a big role in that decision. The study aims to evaluate the association between diet quality of the modern Korean adult population based on the eating behaviour and the socioeconomic factors that influence their diet quality. The study is a cross-sectional study which included 3365 men and 5258 women aged between 19 and 64 years. The study included demographic, socioeconomics, and health behaviour factors as covariates. Results indicate that diet quality is influence by eating behaviour. Authors observed that when Korean adults ate without a companion, their diet quality was significantly lower than those who consistently ate with others. Furthermore, from the higher education to lower education level, the diet quality declined when they eat alone. Authors conclude that many Korean adults are experiencing low diet quality when they eat alone. The study provides evidence to promote interventions to improve diet quality among the public.


BACKGROUND To discover the association between eating alone and diet quality among Korean adults who eat alone measured by the mean adequacy ratio (MAR), METHODS The cross-sectional study in diet quality which was measured by nutrient intakes, indicated as MAR and nutrient adequacy ratio (NAR) with the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) VI 2013-2015 data. Study population was 8523 Korean adults. Multiple linear regression was performed to identify the association between eating behaviour and MAR and further study analysed how socioeconomic factors influence the diet quality of those who eat alone. RESULTS We found that the diet quality of people who eat alone was lower than that of people who eat together in both male (β: - 0.110, p = 0.002) and female participants (β: - 0.069, p = 0.005). Among who eats alone, the socioeconomic factors that negatively influenced MAR with the living arrangement, education level, income levels, and various occupation classifications. CONCLUSIONS People who eat alone have nutrition intake below the recommended amount. This could lead to serious health problems not only to those who are socially disadvantaged but also those who are in a higher social stratum. Policy-makers should develop strategies to enhance diet quality to prevent potential risk factors.

Lifestyle medicine

Fundamental Clinical Imbalances : Neurological
Patient Centred Factors : Antecedents/Eating behaviour
Environmental Inputs : Diet ; Nutrients ; Psychosocial influences
Personal Lifestyle Factors : Nutrition ; Environment
Functional Laboratory Testing : Not applicable

Methodological quality

Allocation concealment : Not applicable
Publication Type : Comparative Study ; Journal Article


Nutrition Evidence keywords : Diet quality ; Malnutrition ; Body mass index ; BMI