Thursday, April 6, 2017

Love at First Bite?

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)


Source photo & article:

9 comments:

  1. I really liked how even though the article that you read made no obvious conclusions about the results of the study, you brought into account the probability of evolution. I think that maybe eating all that food could be the male’s way of showing off their ability to provide for their young as you mentioned. I also found it interesting that girls felt as though they overate. I often find that a lot of girls feel nervous to eat in front of guys on the first date so maybe that has something to do with it! I think this study was really interesting! Great post.

    Posted by: Kate Masterson (Group C)

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  2. It is interesting that this trend was observed in men. I think it's funny that in trying to impress a woman by eating more it actually makes the woman feel pressured and rushed. I can't think of any other good evolutionary explanations for this besides the one you brought up. What a weird way to try to impress a woman!

    Posted by Sierra Tyrol

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  3. This article was actually very entertaining to read. I always found it interesting how typically men eat more than women (just from simple observation and experience). I actually had to do some research regarding this topic and I could remember reading that women have higher body fat percentages than men thus needing/wanting to go on more diets or eating less. Also, how consuming a lot of food is connected to masculinity... which I believe is nonsense ! I still feel like this topic however is still being studied and scientists are trying to pin-point specifics between gender and food. In my opinion, I believe it just depends on the person and their appetite, not the gender. But who knows maybe science could prove me wrong!

    Posted by Angela Driscoll (group A)

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  4. This was something that I never thought about. The factor that the presence of women would increase a male's appetite is extremely fascinating. I wonder how they came with this hypothesis when doing their research as opposed to actually thinking in biological anatomy terms that males eat more because they generally have larger bodies and need more energy. However, the psychological aspect was used here and the numbers they generated were significantly outstanding to support their hypothesis! Overall, very well done summary of the article and interesting experiment to find.

    Posted by Andrew Do

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  5. So what you're saying is I shouldn't be dipping my food in water before shoving it in my face? Anyway, this was a refreshing article to read. I'm always amazed by the lengths that guys will go to in order to impress. When you compare eating to the other routes guys will take, it starts to look pretty tame. For instance, the amount of times I've seen a guy bike past someone with no hands on the handlebars is insane. There's no way they do that when no one else is around.

    Posted by Owen Mulledy (C)

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  6. I find this very intruiging. I never really thought much about how much other people are eating compared to what I have eaten. It seems odd that men may eat more to impress women. I guess I personally don't look for that trait in men? Although, many of us may not. As the study did not conclude a reason for why men tend to eat more, especially when in the presence of women, you point about evolution seems logical.

    I also found it interesting that the amount women consume does not seem to be subjective to whom is present yet there surveys say they felt they overate and were rushed. It seems interesting that the survey states otherwise from the actual observations. Is it that they actually have overeaten all along or is it that they only feel it when they are with a guy? P.S. Love the title!

    Posted by Anna Potorski

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    1. That is an interesting point you bring up, that they state there is no difference in the amount of food women eat in relation to who they are with and yet most women said they felt they overate or felt rushed when eating with men. I cannot imagine how women did not change their eating habits when most of them felt they overate in the presence of men. I think this experiment might be a lot more complicated than what it appears to be. I suppose it is possible that because they felt rushed, they felt fuller faster, leading to them thinking they overrate when actually they ate the same amount they normally would have. Just a thought!

      Posted by Taylor Irwin

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  7. I really enjoyed reading this because it makes me think back on whether I ever observed this happening. I also can't help but wonder if they simply also eat more because they might feel embarrassed to speak to the girl they are out with. Also, a guy could just feel hungrier than the woman they are with because their metabolism might simply be faster. I just wonder if the people conducting the study should've included more factors or possible questions to ask when they did the survey. Overall, it's an interesting study to read about.

    Posted by Ana Carolina Nepomuceno

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    1. You're right, there is definitely many other factors that could be at play here. Before I read this article, I always thought that men eat more because they need to support faster metabolisms than women. That could absolutely play a huge role in this occurrence. I would be interested in seeing future experiments where they take into account not only tendencies towards food, but also dietary and nutritional needs.

      Posted by Taylor Irwin

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