New York – A group of behavioral scientists from Cornell University conducted a study that may suggest men consume more food when they have the company of women. The results of the study were published online in Springer on November 10th.
The researcher observed several tables at an all-you-can-eat Italian buffet. The collected data from restaurant patterns seem to suggest that men who dined with at least one woman at their table ate more than those who ate alone or just among other men. More specifically, men eating with women ate 93% more pizza (1.44 more slices) and 86% more salad.
On the other hand, women eating with men tended to evaluate themselves to have eaten more as desired. They also reported feeling like they were rushed into eating and consequently, they overate.
“We find that while men disproportionately overeat in the company of women, women felt like they overate and felt rushed when eating with men even though there was no evidence that they actually ate more,” lead author of the study Kevin Kniffin said.
Kniffin and company believe this is likely to be some subconscious form of social posturing. Men might be eating excessively in order to showcase their “biological fitness” and appear more attractive to potential mates.
Men could be subconsciously trying to look more attractive to women eating more, but they also know what they should be eating with the presence of female individuals. Kniffin also pointed out that although men who had female company for dinner were more likely to grab a second plate, and they also often made healthier food choices. 86 percent of the time salad was the preferred choice. On average, men dining with women ate three slices of pizza and five bowls of salad.
The results of the research just may indicate a tendency on the social behavior of men, however, it is not acknowledging it for sure. Some scientists disagree on the study’s outcome. For instance, Clinical nutritionist Samantha Heller, who was not part of the study, believes that assuming men eat more in the presence of women might be “a bit of a stretch.” She claims other factors must be considered to reach to such conclusion.
The researchers have acknowledged the limitations in the study. Among them, they mentioned the social context for the meals such as lunch dates versus business meetings, who is paying should also be considered, not to forget the presence of nerves and other personal feelings.