大乐透蓝球复式 www.qionxo.com.cn Eating alone has become a defining feature of modern life: the breakfasting commuter; the household members with conflicting schedules; the widower who receives few visitors. Almost a third of British adults are eating alone "most or all of the time", according to the latest Wellbeing Index, compiled with data from more than 8,000 people by Oxford Economics and the National Centre for Social Research. Similarly, a Mintel survey of 2,000 UK consumers aged 16 and over has found that one in three are "regularly eating every meal alone". In London, the figure rises to almost half.
Much of this solitary munching takes place behind closed doors. Single-occupancy homes are the second-most-common household size in Britain and a record 35% of over-16s are single, according to the Office for National Statistics. This is why, in 2018, Tesco announced plans to stock more than 400 single-portion products including burgers, steaks and vegetables.
As a nation, we have also become less self-conscious about solo dining. The bookings website OpenTable recently reported that reservations for one have increased across the UK by 160% since 2014. Bar seating and communal tables are increasingly popping up in restaurants.
While solo dining in all its manifestations is liberating, our new dietary habits steer us into uncharted territory. Until now, eating in groups has been a universal human ritual. Not only is it practical (many hands make light work - and also reduce our vulnerability to predators) but meals have, traditionally, been used to meet our fundamental need for connection with others. One might also wonder if it is only a coincidence that this new phase is happening at the same time as rising obesity rates.
On a micro level, deciding what to have for dinner after a long day can be a challenge. "Eating alone has not only hugely changed how and what we eat but also how we talk about eating," says Bee Wilson.