April 22, 2016 10:05
The number of people who routinely eat lunch alone has grown along with the increase in single households.
Job search sites Alba and Job Search conducted a joint survey of 1,418 adults nationwide and found that 72 percent of the respondents reported eating their lunch alone, and mostly of their own accord.
As for reasons, the largest group, or 41.6 percent, said they eat alone to keep their meals simple, while 16.8 percent said it is to save time. Some 14 percent said they want some alone time.
Only 27.6 percent said they have no one to eat lunch with.
Asked if they feel self-conscious when eating alone in a restaurant, 83.8 percent said no, indicating that the social stigma surrounding eating alone has eased.
Some 80 percent of the respondents said they eat lunch alone at least once a week, and 9 percent said seven times a week.
Among other activities they prefer doing alone, some 18.1 percent cited travel, followed by shopping (16.6 percent) and cultural activities such as watching movies or performances (12.8 percent). Only 2.9 percent chose drinking, suggesting that drinking in groups is still the norm.
"More and more people are living alone, and thus eating alone," said a staffer at Alba. "People will increasingly enjoy doing other activities alone as well."
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