Going on a first date tends to be a nerve-racking experience. Does this outfit look OK? Does my hair look good? Do I smell good? Appetite often takes a backseat with all that worrying about appearance and hygiene and that can either lead to overeating or not eating enough. A recent study conducted at Cornell University has found that men eat significantly more food when they dine out with a woman compared to when they grab a bite with another man.
"These findings suggest that men tend to overeat to show off — you can also see this tendency in eating competitions which almost always have mostly male participants," said lead author Dr. Kevin Kniffin in a statement.
Kniffin and his colleagues Ozge Sigirci and Brian Wansink spent two weeks examining the eating habits of 105 adults who visited an all-you-can-eat Italian buffet. Researchers recorded the number of pizza slices and bowls of salad they ate during each sit in. Upon leaving the restaurant, each participant was asked to complete a survey that gauged how full they were after eating and how hurried or comfortable they felt while eating.
Men who were visiting the restaurant with at least one female ate 93 percent more pizza and 86 percent more salad compared to men who were dining out with other men. The amount that women ate, on the other hand, did not change from eating with another woman to a man. In fact, a lot of the women reported feeling like they overate and had to rush to finish their meal.
A similar study conducted by researchers from Queensland University of Technology School - Exercise and Nutrition Sciences showed that many single people, especially men, suffer from poor nutrition by not eating enough healthy food and eating smaller ready-made meals. Researchers attributed this to inadequate cooking skills, no partner to food shop with, increased cost of food, and a lack of motivation to cook.
Emotional eating is very real and it can put a damper on any weight loss goals you’ve set out to achieve. Emotional eating is eating used to suppress negative emotions, like stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness, and loneliness. People who overeat tend to use food as a distraction when dealing with a tough decision or an important upcoming event.
See ladies, men do get a little nervous right before that big date.
Source: Wansink B, Sigirci O, Kniffin K. Eating Heavily: Men Eat More in the Company of Women. Evolutionary Psychological Science. 2015.