Love at First Bite?
Ladies, have you even been on a date or eating with your guy friends and noticed that they’ve eaten a whole lot more than you have? Guys, have you ever wondered why the girl you’re eating with decided not to go for seconds? Well it turns out males aren’t simply hungrier than females, there’s actually a biological reason for why men eat more food in the presence of women.
In an experiment from the Cornell Food & Brand Lab, researchers determined that on average, while in the presence of the opposite sex, men will consume more food. This experiment was done in an all-you-can eat Italian buffet style restaurant. 105 individuals were observed over the course of two weeks. Information recorded by the researchers involved the gender of the subject as well as how many slices of pizza and bowls of salad they consumed while dining. In addition, each subject was given a short survey as they left the restaurant answering questions like: how hurried did they feel while eating, how comfortable were they, and how full did they feel when they were done?
What the researchers found was a significant increase in the food consumption by men dining with at least one women. Men ate 93% more pizza and 86% more salad when with a female companion compared to eating with only other males. Whereas for females, there was no significant difference in the amount of food they ate depending on who they were with. From the surveys, it was found that women felt that they overate and felt rushed when eating with men. It is interesting that this article does not mention the men’s feelings of fullness or hurriedness while they ate.
A conclusion drawn from this experiment was that men tend to eat more to show off when they dine with females. This is also evident in food competitions, where there are mostly male competitors.
Why would men eat more than women in the presence of the opposite sex? While the article does not bring up any ties to evolution, I think it is an interesting point to bring up, and really the only explanation. In the context of natural selection and female choice, we know that females will choose the most qualified and usually the most impressive male to mate with in order to produce offspring. So perhaps males have a biological tendency to impress females with the amount of food they are able to consume in an effort to win them over. So guys, next time you’re on a date, just remember that even though evolution might be telling you your date will be impressed with all that food, she might think otherwise.
Posted by Taylor Irwin (Group B)
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