We Secretly Want More Than The Salad

   By drodriguez  Aug 11, 2009

Have you ever found yourself ordering the small salad while on a date when you know you would rather be eating the large pasta dish?  If so, you’re not alone.  A new study  conducted by researchers from McMasters University in Ontario, Canada and published in the journal Appetite shows that women tend to eat a lot less when they are dining with men.

The researchers focused on diners in three different university cafeterias.  Conductor of the study, Meredith Young, saw again and again that the women who dined with men consumed far fewer calories than the women who dined with other women.  Women who dined in mixed groups with both men and women took in fewer calories as well.  Interestingly, the groups with the higher levels of men had women who chose the food lowest in calories for their meal. 

Unlike the women, men seemed completely unfazed by the amount of women within their dining groups.  The study found that men consumed the same amount of calories whether they were with women or not.  So what does this say about the way we eat?

Young theorizes that the diet industry may be to blame  The media has conditioned women to feel that men will perceive them as being more feminine and attractive if they consume low calorie foods and smaller portions while dining.  The calorie consumption differences may be especially pronounced in the college cafeteria setting as most women are very young and single.  It would be interesting to see if these results changed with women of different age groups and ralationship status.

Do the findings from this study surprise you?

Have you ever found yourself ordering a smaller portion when out with men?

Make a Comment

SZYmom by SZYmom | Douglas, MA
Nov 03, 2009

Well many times if I am out to eat I would tend not to eat too much, or too quickly.. not really for appearences sake.. more for the reason (little embaressing) that if I eat to much I tend to get, shall we say.. gassy. It's just my digestive system- also depends on what I eat. So when going out with either sex I would tend to eat lighter, just to avoid stomach pains and embarresment and all that. I do have a very sensative digestive system, it is not to much fun!

farmerbrown2002 by farmerbrown2002 | springfield, LA
Nov 02, 2009

I love salad but its usually with meals.I eat what I enjoy.

thinkinggirl by thinkinggirl | IRVINGTON, NJ
Oct 26, 2009

Over the past 15 months i have lost 55 pounds and kept it off by eating 3 meals and 2 snacks every day along with walking.I was able to do this by eating what is consider smaller potions.And there is no craving because I eat foods that are filling and nutritious,as I cook a lot home so i know just what goes into my food.I also dont use a lot of salt.So when I go out to dinner with my husband I always eat a hearty but balance meal and if I over do my self,the next day i cut back on one of my snacks.i am proud of myself,and my determination to stay healthjy.

Alyssarae92293 by Alyssarae92293 | BOYNTON BEACH, FL
Oct 14, 2009

This is not a big suprise at all! But i would be completly comfortable with eating anything when i'm with my friends.

momagarry by momagarry | MILWAUKEE, WI
Sep 29, 2009

Well I guess my husband and I have been together so long I eat more than he does...LOL

mommymomo by mommymomo | daytona beach, FL
Sep 25, 2009

Not me, I eat what I want. I feel as though I may eat to much, however, we all have our vices. Am I exploding with fat? Not sure, but I do not play the wimp and just eat salad. if I am to dine out, I am going to be who I am and eat what I like. Unfortunately, even though being overweight is bad, society wants us to be underweight and that is not good either. AS long as you know your limits, enjoy!

tmosier00 by tmosier00 | Springdale, AR
Sep 18, 2009

I love to eat and I certainly don't hide that from men I dine with. (When I would go on a date, I would tone it down...I'm trying to impress the guy or something). I'm married now so the mystery is out so no need to put on a facade. I work with a lot of men, public accounting-still a man's world, and I have a lot of lunches/dinners for client relations. I just don't have any reason to "impress" men at this point in my life.

mousie by mousie | Erial, NJ
Sep 07, 2009

I was a size 3 most of my life. I did not eat much, beacuse I ate slow. It took me an hour to eat each meal. After my last son was born, I had to learn to eat fast or I did not even get a meal. He also took an hour to eat. Yes I have gained alot of weight, I wish I could start eating slowly once again....people eat less because they feel more full when they are done eating.

raggedyanne89 by raggedyanne89 | Provo, UT
Sep 07, 2009

I wonder if the results would be different if they studied married couples. When I am with my husband I think I eat the same amount as I normally do.

Bell_Fein by Bell_Fein | WICHITA FALLS, TX
Sep 05, 2009

Of course we want more than the salad. Mmmm...I want the big juicy steack with a fully loaded baked potato, but at least in the begining of my relationship I would opt for the salad. Now, after living together I am more comfortable and don't really care what I eat in front of him. Especially now while I'm pregnant.

msphiiia by msphiiia | san francisco, CA
Sep 03, 2009

The studies definitely don't surprise me. I can even admit to doing the same. It won't be long till women start showing what they want to EAT, it just takes a while to get comfortable. I mean I think the first impression to a male shouldn't be that "I like to eat a lot therefore I'm a pig" which is totally untrue.

avasmommy53009 by avasmommy53009 | jacksonville, FL
Sep 02, 2009

im really self concious right now.. >.<

avasmommy53009 by avasmommy53009 | jacksonville, FL
Sep 02, 2009

It makes alot of sense , we dont want to look bad because men nit pick at those type of things... i was a size 4 before i had my daughter shes 3 months and a few days old and i was 135 before when i went in i was 200 lbs even and now months later i am 162 ... so yeah my man nit picks at what i eat sometimes.. so when we are eating out or im eating around him i eat less... but im also trying to lose weight.. on a date with someone new however, i would eat alot less than what i do normally..

cubbyandmelody by cubbyandmelody | Conway, AR
Sep 02, 2009

I find this surprising. I think that I am more likely to eat more around my husband than other women. Men don't really seem to care or pay attention to what you are eating, but for women it sometimes seems like a "who can eat less" competitiion.

cenmad by cenmad | South Riding, VA
Sep 01, 2009

Unlike others, I'm surprised by these findings. I always order what I want, and find that whomever I'm with seems to appreciate this - men have even told me so. I'm at a healthy size 8 weight, exercise regularly, and simply love good food. Why would I hide this from people I'm with?