Tags: Obesity | overweight | dining | partners

Dining With Overweight People Makes You Eat More: Study

By    |   Thursday, 02 October 2014 04:32 PM

Looking to lose weight? Don't let peer pressure affect your food choices. That's the key finding of new research that suggests people tend to order more food in a restaurant if they’re dining with overweight individuals.
 
The Southern Illinois University study also found people are more likely to order and eat more unhealthy foods when eating with or near someone who is overweight.
 
“This finding emphasizes the importance of pre-committing to meal choices before entering the restaurant,” says lead researcher Mitsuru Shimizu, a professor of psychology. “If you go into the restaurant knowing what you will order you’re less likely to be negatively influenced by all of the things that nudge you to eat more.”
 
For the study, published in Appetite, researchers recruited 82 college students to eat a spaghetti and salad lunch. They also enlisted an actress to wear a prosthesis that added 50 pounds to her normally average weight.
 
Each of the 82 participants was randomly assigned to one of four scenarios: the actress served herself healthfully (more salad and less pasta) while wearing the prosthesis, she served herself the same healthy meal without the prosthesis, she served herself less healthfully (more pasta and less salad) while wearing the prosthesis, or she served herself the same less healthy meal without the prosthesis. Participants in each scenario viewed the actress serving herself and then served themselves pasta and salad.
 
The results showed that when the actress wore the prosthesis, and appeared overweight, the other participants served and ate 31.6 percent more pasta regardless of whether she served herself mostly pasta or mostly salad. When she wore the prosthesis and served herself more salad, the other participants actually served and ate 43.5 percent less salad.
 
These findings demonstrate that people may serve and eat larger portions of unhealthy foods and smaller portions of healthy foods when eating with an overweight person because they are less in tune with their own health goals.

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New research suggests people tend to order more food in a restaurant, and make less-healthy choices, if they're dining with overweight individuals.
overweight, dining, partners
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2014-32-02
Thursday, 02 October 2014 04:32 PM
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