Korean J Community Nutr.  2019 Oct;24(5):408-421. 10.5720/kjcn.2019.24.5.408.

Comparison of Dietary Behavior of Eating Alone in Single Households by Status of Workers and Age

  • 1Department of Economics, Hanbat National University, Daejeon, Korea, Associate Professor.
  • 2Department of Health Promotion Policy, Korea Health Promotion Institute, Seoul, Korea, Team leader. oyujin@khealth.or.kr


This study compared the dietary behaviors of single-person households when eating alone according to the employment pattern and age.
A total of 566 people aged 20~59 years old were collected from the status of workers and classified into three groups according to their employment pattern (regular, non-regular workers and business owner). The subjects were collected by purposive quota sampling on a Gallup panel from June to November in 2017. The dietary behavior and perception of eating alone of the subjects were surveyed via online and self-reported questionnaires.
The frequency of eating alone was significantly higher in the regular group than the non-regular group and business group (p<0.01). The place of eating alone was significantly higher in the regular and non-regular group in the convenience store, and business group in the office (p<0.001). Ramen, the menu when eating alone, was significantly higher in the non-regular group than the other groups (p<0.01). The preference for eating alone was lower in the older age group (p<0.05). The young aged group (aged 20~30) ate more fast food and felt more convenience than the older aged group aged 40~50 years (p<0.05).
Single-person households with a non-regular job have poorer dietary behavior in eating alone than those who had regular employment. In a situation of an increasing number of non-regular workers aged in their 20s and 30s, there is a high likelihood of social problems, such as health and poverty. This study highlights the need for a healthy food selection environment to improve the dietary life of single-person households with non-regular jobs for the diverse types of single-person households.


single households; eating alone; dietary behavior; status of workers; age

MeSH Terms

Family Characteristics*
Fast Foods
Food Preferences
Social Problems
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