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Eating alone is now the norm for Americans


Most U.S. citizens spend meal time alone, according to a new report from research firm NPD Group.

The findings may be particularly significant for individuals with eating disorders, as solo eating is a behavior that can be problematic for binge eaters, stress eaters, or bulimics.

According to the research, 57 percent of Americans eat meals alone, whether at home or away from home.

The findings showed that 60 percent eat breakfast alone, 55 percent eat lunch alone and 32 percent eat dinner alone - which suggests people might tend to start the day with an on-the-go meal before work but place a higher importance on family dinner time.

When eating alone is a trigger

According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, situations that trigger disordered eating habits, thoughts, or behaviors should be avoided - including eating alone.

Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst, said the research findings suggest that food may need to be promoted and packaged differently in order to reach the solo eater.

"As lifestyles shift it's key for marketers to profile and segment occasions when their product is consumed in various ways," Seifer said.

Source: The Wire