Research File: Loneliness in the UK

When dining in South Korea, I found it a very social occasion, everyday and meal. I feel that it was due to a few factors such as sitting on floor, sharing dishes, large tables and the drinking culture. I found out that in Seoul people barely dine at home and usually go out with colleagues, friends or family.

Something that I have seen recently in the news and on blogs is the loneliness epidemic. In the Uk we have all the options to be social and meet people however pressures from social media and other daily life tasks has seen people being lonelier than ever. 62% of teenagers said they were sometimes lonely and more than 9 million people in the Uk have privately admit that they are always or often lonely. Articles have been dubbing depression as the ‘silent and invisible killer’. I am therefore interested in seeing how bringing the very social South Korean dining to the Uk could help tackle this.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/38808336/some-of-you-are-feeling-lonely—this-is-what-you-can-do-about-it

I have found some restaurants in the Uk that are trying to encourage social eating along with other things.

http://superkitchen.org

The Super Kitchen is a charity in Nottingham working with the council to tackle food poverty and create a community eating space. It has received a lot of praise and is working to expand.

http://www.nottinghampost.com/nottingham-to-become-uk-s-first-social-eating-city/story-30062425-detail/story.html

There is a similar cafe in Ayr called Unity Grill and it is student led.

https://www.facebook.com/Unity-Grill-322842588101830/

These cafes are charity led and I would be interested in how these ideals of creating social eating spaces could be targeted at the contract market. I should research more into restaurants in the Uk and what are the current trends in relation to dining.

Here are some useful articles that I found which highlight the issue of dining alone and the facts and figures of eating alone:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/29/loneliness-affects-diet_n_4173944.html

http://www.today.com/health/americans-are-eating-more-meals-alone-report-finds-t40386

 

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