A new study suggests we may well be eating the same as our spouses over time, along with influences from family and friends.
The inherent behavior was discovered in a study published in the American Journal of Public Health observed from 1991 to 2001.
The researchers analyzed what spouses ate, looked for eating patterns and saw whether they drew closer together or further apart, week by week. They found that over all peer types (friends, family, spouses) husbands and wives showed the strongest concordance over time, friends and siblings less.
Predefined eating behaviors, such as "meats and soda", "alcohol and snacking", "sweet-eating" and "light eaters" were all seen to be shared more by partners. "Caffeine avoidants" and "healthier" eating patterns were also recorded and seen to be more prevalent in partners over time.
Across all relationships, the study found that from the various eating patterns good and bad could be shared.
"Alcohol and snacks" was the fastest behavior to spread, according to Mark Pachukci, lead author
"Items in this food pattern are easy to share and often require less of a time commitment relative to meals," he wrote.
After looking at behaviors and accounting for sociodemographic factors such as where people lived, and how far apart from each other, the researchers found that health behaviors slowly merged over time.
Mark Pachukci, who himself is getting married over the weekend, told WEbMD you might enter into a relationship with similarities already, but more likely your patterns will change over time. WebMD, which reported on this story, cited doing the same grocery shopping together, and eating local food, as reasons for patterns trending.
The study was carried out with at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health on members of the Farmington Heart Study, a fifty year study held in Farmington, Massachusetts that has brought about a lot what we know on heart disease, high blood pressure. There are currently over 1,000 medical studies linked to that small population.