People who eat alone tend to age faster, a study suggests, perhaps because it enforces feelings of isolation and depression. The study by Samsung Medical Center and Kyunghee University Medical Center covered 2,072 people aged 70 to 84. It measured frailty and aging in terms of weight loss, fading muscular strength, fatigue, slower walking speed and decreased physical activity. Victims are at risk of even a small cold escalating into a major illness like pneumonia. Researchers found that elderly people who had nobody to eat with had a 61 percent higher chance of suffering these symptoms than their peers who ate with others.
Elderly men who ate alone were at 3.7 times greater risk of weight loss, while women were 1.6 times more likely to suffer fatigue and 2.8 times more likely to suffer from a slowed walking pace.Living with family members did not have a big effect on aging -- the thing that mattered was not eating alone. Park Joon-hee at Samsung Medical Center said, "Many elderly people have become unable to visit senior citizen centers due to the coronavirus pandemic and have to eat alone. Steps should be taken to address this problem."