Association between Dining with Companions and Depression among Korean Adults

Hankyo Jung, Jin Ryu, Junhui Choi, Hyunkyu Kim, Euncheol Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated whether dining with companions is correlated with the alleviation of depression and differs by sex among Korean adults. We used 4-year data from the 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. We surveyed 11,055 participants (4699 men, 6356 women) using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 to measure their depression scores. We evaluated participants’ meal companionship status by asking whether they had usually dined with companions for breakfast, lunch, or dinner during the past year. Statistical analysis was performed using chi-square tests and multivariate/multinomial logistic regression. We found depression to be less prevalent among participants who dined with companions at least once a day (adjusted OR: 0.26, 95% CI: 0.15–0.45, men; adjusted OR: 0.50, 95% CI: 0.34–0.74, women). In the moderate depression subgroup, participants who dined with companions at least once a day showed lower OR (adjusted OR: 0.28, 95% CI: 0.16–0.50, men; adjusted OR: 0.50, 95% CI: 0.32–0.76, women). Among participants who dined together, men’s severe depression dramatically decreased (adjusted OR: 0.05, 95% CI: 0.01–0.31). Thus, we found an association between dining with companions and the prevalence of depression among Korean adults. Dining with companions compared with dining alone signified a lower depression rate, especially among men. This study can provide an initiative to further analyze psychological and physiological effects of dining together and be applied to practical fields as education and societal campaigns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2834
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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