(HealthDayNews) -- Loneliness is a major contributor to a bad diet among elderly Americans.
Studies have found that both elderly men and women who live alone get significantly fewer dietary vitamins and minerals than married people, according to a report in the Washington Post.
"It's not that older people who lived alone chose food that was less nutritious than foods chosen by those who lived with a spouse. They simply were eating less of it, missing meals more often," says the article.
"There perhaps is no greater deterrent to eating well than having to sit down to meals alone," particularly for people who have lost a loved one, writes reporter Lawrence Linder. "They simply may not have the heart to prepare wholesome repasts that will be eaten while they stare at the four walls."