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

balladiana by balladiana | la puente, CA
Aug 31, 2009

this study does not surprise me at all. It makes perfect sense actually. They want to impress the man, and not seem "fat" by eating so much food. I'm going to be myself no matter what. I'm not going to starve myself just because Im with a guy. If he can't except that, well then to bad!! lol

deedee1130991 by deedee1130991 | Orange City, FL
Aug 29, 2009

It is true! When i go out with my boyfriend, (he is a huge eater) i rather watch him eat alot of food so i do not! lol. I do enjoy salads and often order them as my meal.......

krispy76 by krispy76 | gray, TN
Aug 28, 2009

I am not surprised by this, but I wouldn't have fallen into this category when I was in college - or any other time! I've just never cared about stuff like that. Honestly, I probably eat more when I'm out (with my husband or not) because it's different food than what I make at home and we don't eat out that often, so I take advantage of yummy food when I can!

Jackie12 by Jackie12 | Ormond Beach , FL
Aug 28, 2009

When I am out with my husband and even when I was dating, I kept my portions small. I did not want to leave an impression that I was a large eater. When I am home now that is a different story. lol..

aftertwilight102 by aftertwilight102 | Wills Point, TX
Aug 28, 2009

I am not suprised, but I personally just eat whatever it is I want. What is the point in making the guy think you survive on salads alone? You have to eat in from of him eventually!

caseycolette by caseycolette | TRUSSVILLE, AL
Aug 27, 2009

no i eat a lot when im out with my husband idc what he or anyone else thinks. when i go out i like to eat good!

Bitesizedjuli by Bitesizedjuli | Toronto, OU
Aug 26, 2009

I am and am not surprised by this. I think it depends on who you are with. I actually feel like I have to watch what I eat with my female friends because they usually don't eat as much as me so I feel like I have to eat the same amount as them. With my male friends, they usually eat a lot so they don't really notice or care that I eat the same amount. If I was with a potential suitor then I can see the situation where I would not want to pig out in front of him.

krystlnickel by krystlnickel | SAINT STEPHEN, SC
Aug 26, 2009

I think that it might be a problem with lack of self confidence. I know that I have great self confidence and I really don't care what other people think as long as I am happy with myself. I do watch my portion control because of the fact that I do not want to gain a lot of weight, so whatever I can't finish I save for later or give to my husband to finish for me. My self confidence is one of the things that my husband says attracted me to him.

caligirl09 by caligirl09 | granite bay, CA
Aug 25, 2009

my friends are perfect examples of this! i have been with my boyfriend for 6+ years so im comfortable around him. If i dont eat a good portion he asks me whats wrong lol. But women tend to not want to give of this so called "impression" of eating a lot becuase guys have made woment feel that enjoying food is a bad thing and it means you are heavy ..so on.. but o well if there going to care about that the date is a waste of time anyways !

P_Celaya by P_Celaya | San Antonio, TX
Aug 25, 2009

I've heard of this, but I guess I never really thought people actually did this. With me you see what you get. I don't put up a front at all. I'm small framed and I actually feel the opposite. I've always had people watching what I ate because if you are naturally thin most people (mostly women) who are eating with you or even at other tables asssume you are anorexic. Yes, I got asked this from strangers. So, I would not and do not order less for appearances. All my friends were shocked when we would go eat, because I eat a lot. I am not going to go to a restaurant order a salad, have people think I'm starving myself and then go pig out later because the salad wasn't filling enough...thats crazy!

MarieVonLove by MarieVonLove | BROOKLYN, NY
Aug 23, 2009

I'm not surprised by this, it's actually annoying. Why starve yourself just to look and act feminine? I'm pretty sure the guy knows you're hungry and wants you to order a meal and not a half a cup of lettuce.

MyEmptyCanvas by MyEmptyCanvas | KOSCIUSKO, MS
Aug 23, 2009

LOL This is funny. It does not suprise me at all. I have seen friends do this time & time again (or they tell me). It's more-so, so they don't look greedy or starving. As for me, I have thought about it, but I love food, so I get what I want, but I do tend to not get the messy items (like BBQ) so that I can, (for the lack of a better word) still look "cute".

anndrrea by anndrrea | Austin, TX
Aug 22, 2009

This is actually really funny because it doesnt surprise me at all but im nothing like this.i'm 19, so sure the media has some affect on me but with weight not so much because i know that eating heallthy and not eating at all are completley different. but when i go out to eat with a guy i def. order whatever i want even if its more than him! haha but i do like salads too.

juarezfamily08 by juarezfamily08 | Crete, IL
Aug 22, 2009

Hey I love my salads!!! Not just a blah salad that shouldn't even have the title salad but a really nice tasty one!!! You can have a little chicken breast on it too if you must!

bbwright07 by bbwright07 | Calera, OK
Aug 22, 2009

I have to say that I'm not surprised by this, but then again, I've never went on a date and ordered a salad. I probably ate a few less calories if I was with some people who I didn't know very well, but people I am close with (male or female) know that I will eat what I want. These young'ens will learn when they get older that it doesn't matter what you eat or who you eat it with, but it's something that most of us go through as a young woman.