DOI QR코드

DOI QR Code

Perceptions and practices of commensality and solo-eating among Korean and Japanese university students: A cross-cultural analysis

  • Cho, Wookyoun (Department of Food and Nutrition, Gachon University) ;
  • Takeda, Wakako (National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Research School of Population Health, Australian National University) ;
  • Oh, Yujin (Research Evaluation Team, Korea Health Promotion Foundation) ;
  • Aiba, Naomi (Department of Nutrition and Life Science, Kanagawa Institute of Technology) ;
  • Lee, Youngmee (Department of Food and Nutrition, Gachon University)
  • Received : 2015.04.16
  • Accepted : 2015.07.08
  • Published : 2015.10.01

Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Commensality, eating together with others, is a major representation of human sociality. In recent time, environments around commensality have changed significantly due to rapid social changes, and the decline of commensality is perceived as a serious concern in many modern societies. This study employs a cross-cultural analysis of university students in two East Asian countries, and examines cross-cultural variations of perceptions and actual practices of commensality and solo-eating. SUBJECTS/METHODS: The analysis was drawn from a free-list survey and a self-administrative questionnaires of university students in urban Korea and Japan. The free-listing survey was conducted with a small cohort to explore common images and meanings of commensality and solo-eating. The self-administrative questionnaire was developed based on the result of the free-list survey, and conducted with a larger cohort to examine reasons and problems of practices and associated behaviors and food intake. RESULTS: We found that Korean subjects tended to show stronger associations between solo-eating and negative emotions while the Japanese subjects expressed mixed emotions towards the practice of solo-eating. In the questionnaire, more Korean students reported they prefer commensality and tend to eat more quantities when they eat commensally. In contrast, more Japanese reported that they do not have preference on commensality and there is no notable difference in food quantities when they eat commensally and alone. Compared to the general Korean cohort finding, more proportion of overweight and obese groups of Korean subjects reported that they tend to eat more when they are alone than normal and underweight groups. This difference was not found in the overweight Japanese subjects. CONCLUSION: Our study revealed cross-cultural variations of perceptions and practices of commensality and solo-eating in a non-western setting.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)

References

  1. Pliner P, Bell R. A table for one: the pain and pleasure of eating alone. In: Meiselman HL, editor. Meals in Science and Practice: Interdisciplinary Research and Business Applications. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing; 2009. p.169-85.
  2. Herman CP, Roth DA, Polivy J. Effects of the presence of others on food intake: a normative interpretation. Psychol Bull 2003;129:873-86. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.129.6.873
  3. Mennell S, Murcott A, van Otterloo AH. The Sociology of Food: Eating, Diet and Culture. Newbury Park (CA): Sage; 1992.
  4. Mestdag I, Glorieux I. Change and stability in commensality patterns: a comparative analysis of Belgian time-use data from 1966, 1999 and 2004. Sociol Rev 2009;57:703-26. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-954X.2009.01868.x
  5. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (FR). Figure 2.3. Home alone: the rise in single-person households. In: Trends in Shaping Education 2013. Paris: OECD publishing; 2013. p.40.
  6. Warde A, Cheng SL, Olsen W, Southerton D. Changes in the practice of eating: a comparative analysis of time-use. Acta Sociol 2007;50:363-85. https://doi.org/10.1177/0001699307083978
  7. Fischler C. Commensality, society and culture. Soc Sci Inf (Paris) 2011;50:528-48. https://doi.org/10.1177/0539018411413963
  8. Chang KS. Compressed modernity and its discontents: South Korean society in transtion. Econ Soc 1999;28:30-55. https://doi.org/10.1080/03085149900000023
  9. Ochiai E. Leaving the West, rejoining the East? Gender and family in Japan’ s semi-compressed modernity. Int Sociol 2014;29:209-28. https://doi.org/10.1177/0268580914530415
  10. Popkin BM. Nutritional patterns and transitions. Popul Dev Rev 1993;19:138-157. https://doi.org/10.2307/2938388
  11. World Health Organization (CH). Globalization, Diets and Noncommunicable Diseases. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2002.
  12. Ministry of Health and Welfare, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Korea Health Statistics 2011: Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES V). Cheongwon: Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2012.
  13. Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (JP). The National Health and Nutrition Survey in Japan 2013. Chiyoda: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare; 2015.
  14. Danesi G. Commensality in French and German young adults: an ethnographic study. Hosp Soc 2012;1:153-72. https://doi.org/10.1386/hosp.1.2.153_1
  15. Dale L. Ohitorisama, singlehood and agency in Japan. Asian Stud Rev 2014;38:224-42. https://doi.org/10.1080/10357823.2014.902033
  16. Furlong A. Youth Studies: An Introduction. Abingdon: Routledge; 2013.
  17. Danesi G. Pleasure and stress of eating alone and eating together among French and German young adults. J Eat Hosp Res 2012;1:77-91.
  18. Workshop summary: What to eat: a multidiscipline view of meals. Food Qual Prefer 2004;15:901-5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2004.05.003
  19. Allman-Farinelli MA, Chey T, Bauman AE, Gill T, James WP. Age, period and birth cohort effects on prevalence of overweight and obesity in Australian adults from 1990 to 2000. Eur J Clin Nutr 2008;62:898-907. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602769
  20. Funatogawa I, Funatogawa T, Nakao M, Karita K, Yano E. Changes in body mass index by birth cohort in Japanese adults: results from the National Nutrition Survey of Japan 1956-2005. Int J Epidemiol 2009;38:83-92. https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyn182
  21. Khang YH, Yun SC. Trends in general and abdominal obesity among Korean adults: findings from 1998, 2001, 2005, and 2007 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. J Korean Med Sci 2010;25:1582-8. https://doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2010.25.11.1582
  22. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (FR). Education at a Glance 2014: OECD Indicators. Paris: OECD publishing; 2014.
  23. Smith CS, Morris M, Hill W, Francovich C, McMullin J, Chavez L, Rhoads C. Cultural consensus analysis as a tool for clinic improvements. J Gen Intern Med 2004;19:514-8. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1525-1497.2004.30061.x
  24. Jauho M, Niva M. Lay understandings of functional foods as hybrids of food and medicine. Food Cult Soc 2013;16:43-63. https://doi.org/10.2752/175174413X13500468045362
  25. Farmer P. Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues. Berkeley (CA): University of California Press; 1999.
  26. Weller SC, Romney AK. Systematic Data Collection. Newbury Park (CA): Sage publication; 1988.
  27. Schrauf RW, Sanchez J. Using freelisting to identify, assess, and characterize age differences in shared cultural domains. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2008;63:S385-93. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/63.6.S385
  28. Brubaker R, Loveman M, Stamatov P. Ethnicity as cognition. Theory Soc 2004;33:31-64. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:RYSO.0000021405.18890.63
  29. Romney AK, Weller SC, Batchelder WH. Culture as consensus: a theory of culture and informant accuracy. Am Anthropol 1986;88:313-38. https://doi.org/10.1525/aa.1986.88.2.02a00020
  30. Quinlan M. Considerations for collecting freelists in the field: examples from ethobotany. Field Methods 2005;17:219-34. https://doi.org/10.1177/1525822X05277460
  31. Charmaz K. Constructing Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide through Qualitative Analysis. London: Sage publications; 2006.
  32. Kanazawa M, Yoshiike N, Osaka T, Numba Y, Zimmet P, Inoue S. Criteria and classification of obesity in Japan and Asia-Oceania. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2002;11:S732-7. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1440-6047.11.s8.19.x
  33. Schachter S, Goldman R, Gordon A. Effects of fear, food deprivation, and obesity on eating. J Pers Soc Psychol 1968;10:91-7. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0026284
  34. Maykovich MK. Social constraints in eating patterns among the obese and overweight. Soc Probl 1978;25:453-60. https://doi.org/10.2307/800497
  35. Conger JC, Conger AJ, Costanzo PR, Wright KL, Matter JA. The effect of social cues on the eating behavior of obese and normal subjects. J Pers 1980;48:258-71. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.1980.tb00832.x
  36. Heatherton TF, Baumeister RF. Binge eating as escape from self-awareness. Psychol Bull 1991;110:86-108. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.110.1.86
  37. Salvy SJ, Coelho JS, Kieffer E, Epstein LH. Effects of social contexts on overweight and normal-weight children’s food intake. Physiol Behav 2007;92:840-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2007.06.014
  38. Ulijaszek SJ. Frameworks of population obesity and the use of cultural consensus modeling in the study of environments contributing to obesity. Econ Hum Biol 2007;5:443-57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ehb.2007.08.006
  39. Lee Y, Sun L. The study of perception in body somatotype and dietary behaviors: the comparative study between Korean and Chinese college students. Korean J Community Nutr 2013;18:25-44. https://doi.org/10.5720/kjcn.2013.18.1.25
  40. Tourangeau R. Remembering what happened: memory errors and survey reports. In: Stone AA, Bachrach CA, Jobe JB, Kurtzman HS, Cain VS, editors. The Science of Self-Report: Implications for Research and Practice. Mahwah (NJ): Lawrence Erlbaum; 2000. p.29-48.

Cited by

  1. Eating Alone is Differentially Associated with the Risk of Metabolic Syndrome in Korean Men and Women vol.15, pp.5, 2018, https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15051020