Researchers Who Probably Hate Pizza: Living Alone Is Basically Terrible For Your Diet

Cats won't judge, unlike roommates or your significant other.  (brandylee)

Cats won’t judge, unlike roommates or your significant other. (brandylee)

Living by yourself can be great — it means you have the option of never wearing real pants at home, guilt-free Netflix binges on sunny days and the ability to eat your meals in front of the open refrigerator by picking through whatever it is you happen to have in there. On that last note, researchers say living solo has a downside: it means you eat like crap.

Without roommates or a partner around, people tend to have less healthy diets, according to an analysis of 41 studies published in the journal Nutrition Reviews by researchers at Queensland University of Technology.

Researchers found that compared to people who cohabitate with others, singletons ate fewer fruits, vegetables, and fish and were less diverse int heir food choices overall.

What is it about living solo that takes such a toll on the diet? One of the researchers notes that people who live alone might lack the motivation to shop for groceries or cook. As anyone who’s ever cooked a recipe for themselves knows, it can be rough to eat leftovers of the same meal for a week straight, which is the only alternative to losing money on all those groceries you bought to cook.

That lack of desire to go out and forage and prepare food for yourself often leads those living the single life to make “simple or ready-made meals lacking key nutrients,” notes Dr. Katherine Hanna, one of the researchers notes in a press release.

And without a roommate to shame you over eating an entire pizza for 14 meals in a row, there’s no impetus to go the healthy route.

“The absence of support or encouragement to comply with healthy eating guidelines and difficulty in managing portion control were also factors influencing diet,” Dr. Hanna said.

On the up side, this means there’s no one around to eat the last fudge bar in the freezer.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.