Why women eat salads on dates
I have a friend who only orders salads when she goes out on a date. Me, I’d order the pasta and make sure to leave room for dessert. Turns out I’m unusual that way.
According to the latest study at McMaster University, women consume far fewer calories in the presence of a man (or men) than when eating alone or with another woman. Of over 450 people observed in a cafeteria setting, only the women revealed different consumption habits around the opposite sex.
What I was oblivious to when dating is the fact that what you eat, and how much, can affect impressions of your habits, world-views, social appeal, and attractiveness. According to the authors, psychologists Meredith Young and her colleagues:
1. In [groups of two], women selected foods with lower caloric value if their companion was male than if with another woman, whereas men’s choices were not affected by partner’s sex.
2. In our study, women’s total calories were not just reduced in the presence of a male, but also decreased further as a function of the number of male companions (and tended to show a reverse effect of female companions).
3. Women, in particular, adjust their eating to accord with consumption stereotypes, specifically that smaller eaters are viewed more favorably. The women we observed adjusted food selection not so as to match men, but perhaps in accordance with beliefs about what men find attractive.
Is a lusty appetite really less attractive?