Women eat less when dining with men, but more with women

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Washington, Aug 6 (ANI): What you eat depends on with whom you eat, that's the conclusion of a new study.

The study conducted by researchers at McMaster University appears in the online version of the international journal Appetite.

Meredith Young, PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, found that what a person chooses to eat at lunch or dinner is influenced by who they eat with and the gender make-up of the group.

By observing students in naturalistic settings in three large university cafeterias with a wide choice of food options and dining companions, Young found that women who ate with a male companion chose foods of significantly lower caloric value than did women who were observed eating with another woman.

What's more, when women ate in mixed-gender groups their food choices were at the lower end of the caloric scale; the more men in the group the fewer the calories. When women ate in all-female groups, their food was significantly higher in calories.

"Eating is a social activity. In university cafeterias people select their food before they are seated and perhaps before they know with whom they will eat. Given the observed differences it seems likely that social groupings were anticipated at the time of food selection," Young said. (ANI)

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