According to a latest study, a woman who dines with a man may possibly opt for foods with fewer calories in contrast to a woman who dines with a woman. This interesting study was conducted by researchers at McMaster University.
What a person prefers to eat at lunch or dinner may perhaps be influenced by whom they eat with and the gender composition of the group.
For the purpose of better understanding the criterion, Meredith Young, PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behavior examined students in naturalistic settings in three big university cafeterias. In these cafeterias, students seemed to have a wide variety of food options and dining companions. She found that women who ate with a male companion chose foods of considerably lower caloric value in contrast to women who eat with another woman.
“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,” elucidates Young.
In addition, when women ate in mixed-gender groups their food choices were supposedly at the lower end of the caloric scale. Thus the findings revealed that larger the number of men in the group, lesser the calories whereas higher the number of females in the group, their food was also significantly higher in calories.
However, Young wasn’t surprised by these findings. She claimed that the diet industry targets mainly female consumers and product advertisements characteristically show very slim models in contrast to average-sized or overweight female models.
Young further stated that, “It is possible that small food portions signal attractiveness, and women conform, whether consciously or unconsciously, to small meals in order to be seen as more attractive.”
Likewise for men’s food selections, the study demonstrated that men appear to be neither largely affected by the number of people nor the gender of their dining companions.
Thus food choices may possibly be considered against how others perceive them. Accordingly, smaller healthier portions were believed to be seen as more feminine and women may think that if they eat less, men will regard them as more good-looking.
The findings of the study have been published in the online version of the international journal, Appetite.