There are many factors that influence dietary variety. Some factors are directly related to our mental and physical health. People who are in good health tend to consume more variety than those who are not. Previous studies have indicated that food-related behavior is associated with health, so it makes sense that physical and mental health are factors in dietary variety. One factor that influences the amount of variety in a diet is whether we live alone or with a partner. Being alone may make us less adventurous when it comes to choosing foods, and loneliness may be a contributing factor. Therefore, it may be helpful to eat in a communal setting to widen one’s dietary choices.
The benefits of eating a varied diet are well documented. A recent study found that individuals who ate a more varied diet were less likely to develop metabolic syndrome. Researchers noted that the more varied a diet was, the lower the risk of metabolic syndrome. However, a varied diet is not for everyone. For example, not everyone enjoys cooking a wide variety of foods. For this reason, a less varied diet may be more convenient for some.
The quality of a less varied diet is directly related to a person’s perceived resources. The older person’s diet varies based on their perceived appetite and food knowledge. Increasing food knowledge and improving kitchen facilities could increase dietary variety. So, it is important to find out what the specific goal of an older person is. Once the goals are identified, you can make the necessary changes to your diet to achieve them.
While a more varied diet may prevent chronic diseases, a less varied diet may be more expensive and worsen socioeconomic inequalities in dietary choices. Some countries have implemented financial incentives to encourage a more diverse diet. A tax on sugar-sweetened beverages is a good start. But these financial approaches cannot provide the magic cure. We need to work together with our government to make a diet that is more diverse, affordable, and healthy.
The agricultural revolution reduced the diversity of our diets. Today, we get more than two-thirds of our calories from only four species: wheat, corn, soybeans, and rice. In addition to increasing our calorie intake, we are consuming less variety of foods that are low in nutrients. A less varied diet may increase the risk of diseases and obesity. A varied diet will increase our chances of staying healthy. However, this is a long-term solution that can benefit your health.