New research is showing that social eating habits have a striking positive impact on our wellness. This is particularly easy to see among seniors. The reason is that many seniors find themselves alone after having been around others in their homes for the majority of their lives.
Empty nesters who are divorced, separated or widowed can, quite understandably, find it very difficult to be alone. Loneliness can play a substantial role in good nutrition, according to new research, and social eating habits can offer a pleasant improvement.
Social Eating Habits to Enjoy Food
Among the main nutrition struggles among seniors facing loneliness is that food doesn’t interest them. When they are used to social eating habits and find themselves eating alone, the enjoyment simply isn’t there. As a result, it’s difficult to put any real priority on eating right and keeping up proper nutrition.
That said, new programs and opportunities encouraging social eating habits are returning the appeal once again. Doctors, seniors health experts and other forms of social and health workers are recommending that seniors eat with others whenever possible.
Social Eating Habits for Everyone
A growing number of countries are including social eating habits among their nutrition recommendations for everyone. For instance, Canada just released an overhaul to its official food guide this year. That guide provides basic recommendations for nutrition such as avoiding processed foods, eating fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, lean proteins and eating with others.
Many countries are now acknowledging social eating habits as being just as important as the nutrients we consume in our daily meals. Eating among others helps many people – particularly seniors – to pay closer attention to their food, savor what they eat and select more colorful foods in greater varieties.
How to Build Social Eating Habits
Of course, for individuals living alone, finding other people with whom to share social eating habits can seem like a daunting challenge. This struggle increases among seniors who often face mobility issues, financial restrictions and mental health barriers such as depression.
As a result, the responsibility for building social eating habits is, quite naturally, a social one. Health experts are recommending that families eat together more often, that they invite others to their tables and that they visit seniors with greater frequency in order to share a meal.