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We Secretly Want More Than The Salad

SS Member Image By drodriguez 08.11.09
We Secretly Want More Than The Salad
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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?

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  • junconventional By junconventional

    No the studies don't surprise me - I generally eat less when I'm eating out - however I figure the man I'm dining with can tell I'm not missing too many meals (or that I'm having an issue finding food) - so I pretty much eat what I want within reason.

  • pgarcia74 By pgarcia74

    I'm not surprised. I've see it and commented on it because it seemed funny to me. I don't remember doing this when I was single, but I did see a few of my friends do it. Although I did modify some of my behavior when I was dating, eating less in front of men was not one of them. I even remember one date being very impressed that I was able to eat a whole plate of ribs, baked potato and corn on the cob! (I used to be tiny.) Today, I am more aware of what I eat in front of my girlfriends. We are all trying to be healthier and support each other when we ask for water instead of a softdrink or if we say no to the bread basket.

  • jacgardens By jacgardens

    No, I am not surprised. Most women are so concerned with what other people think. I have found that I order less because I can never finish most things on the menu. I would rather order salad and soup and finish all of it. Than order Steak and potato and not be able to finish it. It has nothing to do with what the other person might be thinking. It has to do with not wanting to waste food.

  • MadHatter By MadHatter

    For me, If I feel I am hungry, I will eat whatever I crave. when i am out with a group of my friends, I am comfortable, i eat a lot. If it was with a stranger, or someone i am on a date with, then i might tend to eat less because of being nervous. just need some warming up!

  • blessedculinary By blessedculinary

    How I eat does depend on who I'm with. If I'm with someone I'm comfortable with I will eat how aI want to. But if I'm with someone else I will conserve myself some. Dont want to seem like a


    I know this is a fact. A sad fact, but a fact no less. When I was younger (late teens -early 20's) this applied to me. However, it did depend on who I was with. And after a while, I was ok with me, and if some guy didn't like it, or thought I was eating too much, well... then he wasn't the guy for me. I am who I am and PROUD OF IT!

  • jodi713 By jodi713

    Im not suprised noone wants to grub in front of potential lol!

  • smemmolo By smemmolo

    I am not surprised by this. Once a woman gets comfortable with a man she starts eating like she normally would. When most women go out with a man for the first time or before they feel comfortable they do not want to look like a pig although the man probably would not notice.

  • staceydv44 By staceydv44

    that is very true sometimes those little salads just dont fill you up ......

  • stefaniek99 By stefaniek99

    I thought the comments about it depending on who the woman is eating with are spot on. Also I was wondering if being married (or in a long-term relationship) results in not only eating more calories with your significant other, but also with any man. Do we just give up putting up a front with everyone or only with our significant other. ;-)

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