A news story from Global News from Laura Hensley focuses on the drawbacks of eating in solitude. This article primarily leans on an interview with Kate Mulligan, an associate professor at the University of Toronto’s School of Public Health. Some of the highlighted disadvantages to eating along include an increased risk for depression, feelings of isolation and loneliness, metabolic syndrome, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and a lower-quality diet. This article also considers the benefits of eating alone such as needed quiet time as an enjoyable break from a chaotic lifestyle. In conclusion, Hensley states that the evidence suggests eating with others is beneficial for our overall health and well-being.
A notable advantage of this article is the multiple perspectives it provides to support its message. In addition to comments from Kate Mulligan, information is used from Tani et al., Kwon et al., Al et al., Chae et al., among other research articles and reputable sources. Hensley structures the news story in an easily digestible manner and presents information that illustrates that the harms of eating along outweigh the benefits. Specifically, Hensley states that although eating alone can be an enjoyable break, she does not condone solo eating as normative behaviour.
Although Hensley accurately describes results from research articles to make points, some statements are made without providing an article link. Additionally, many claims by Hensley are made with minimal description, which questions its validity. For example, Hensley states that being single or widowed is associated with a lower food variety score without describing the methodology or possible confounding factors of the research article.
In this article, Laura Hensley summarizes the reported effects that the practice of eating meals alone may have on people’s health. Hensley consults many sources on the adverse effects of eating alone and interviews Kate Mulligan, an associate professor at the University of Toronto’s School of Public Health, for expert opinion. Hensley also considers sources that argue the opposing view, such as an article from the New York Times claiming that eating alone could be beneficial, in some respects. Although Hensley presents arguments from both sides, demonstrating there are both pros and cons for one’s mental and physical health when eating meals alone, the article ultimately seems to convey that the negative effects of such outweigh the positive effects.
The article provides opinions from many sources in order to present a comprehensive discussion of the issue. However, the frequent mention of different sources and their findings could make the article hard for some people to follow. Perhaps, limiting her sources to the most reputable that contribute to the article’s aim would have made Hensley’s article nicer for readers.
The title clearly communicates the article’s purpose, the opinion of the author is almost non-existent throughout the piece, and the content presented is interesting and relevant. The language and simple organization of the subject matter of the article make it a rather easy and enjoyable read. The author’s contact information, biography, and other works are easily accessible. Also, the links for each independent source consulted for this article are all provided and public, which might be important for readers interested in further inquiry.
Chae, Wonjeong, et al. “Association between Eating Behaviour and Diet Quality: Eating Alone vs. Eating with Others.” Nutrition Journal, BioMed Central, 1 Jan. 1970, nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12937-018-0424-0.
Conklin, Annalijn I, et al. “Social Relationships and Healthful Dietary Behaviour: Evidence from over-50s in the EPIC Cohort, UK.” Social Science & Medicine (1982), Pergamon, Jan. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24035440.
Davies, Anna, et al. “Solo Dining Is Bad for Our Mental Health-and for the Planet.” Quartz, Quartz, 4 Nov. 2019, qz.com/1738347/eating-alone-is-bad-for-our-mental-health-and-the-planet/.
Kwon, A Rom, et al. “Eating Alone and Metabolic Syndrome: A Population-Based Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2013–2014.” Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, Elsevier, 20 Oct. 2017, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1871403X17300960.
Mchugh, Jess. “How to Eat Alone (and Like It).” The New York Times, The New York Times, 31 Oct. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/10/30/smarter-living/how-to-eat-alone-and-like-it.html.
Tani, Yukako, et al. “Eating Alone and Depression in Older Men and Women by Cohabitation Status: The JAGES Longitudinal Survey.” Age and Ageing, Oxford University Press, Nov. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4621239/.
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