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

hamster_mom by hamster_mom | LAS VEGAS, NV
Aug 18, 2009

This doesn't surprise me at all. When I was younger I would eat less at a meal when going out but I am almost 40 now and when I go out which isn't all that often, I don't let any of that enter my mind. In get what I want and don't worry about it anymore.

kaylijean by kaylijean | Monroe, MI
Aug 17, 2009

Most women dont want to look like pigs and eat a whole ton when they are out, while your more comfortable eating with your girlfriends!

kokonut1966 by kokonut1966 | Tarpon Springs, FL
Aug 17, 2009

No way! If I go out to dinner, I EAT!! Hey, you asked for it...you GOT it!

rparnell by rparnell | snellville, GA
Aug 17, 2009

What i order does depend on who i am dining with. I guy friend who eats large... i will too. A buisness lunch...much lighter. A girlfriend who needs to vent...bring out those brownie sundays and the cheese covered fries! :)

veggie27 by veggie27 | farmington hills, MI
Aug 16, 2009

Usually, I eat lighter when I am around my husband all the time. It became habit since we began dating. I tend to order salad and an ala carte item. But, mixed drinks don't count!

emac79 by emac79 | Saint Louis, MO
Aug 16, 2009

I have never, ever, monitored what I was eating when I was with people. I am fit and comfortable with myself and do not feel the need to order daintily to impress. In fact, one of the reasons my husband fell in love with me was because on our first date I ordered a burger and fries (he claims no other women he went out with was that bold). If you can't be yourself, and that includes eating what you like, up front, than that is not the guy for you.

darling_dear by darling_dear | Amherst, NY
Aug 16, 2009

Women typically always care more what men think of them, so this doesn't surprise me

mschultz by mschultz | toledo, OH
Aug 16, 2009

not a superise. the difference I store the food in different places. even though i'm taking in less i show it more

amayamori by amayamori | Columbus, OH
Aug 15, 2009

I agree completley.

jh0816 by jh0816 | LAWRENCEVILLE, GA
Aug 15, 2009

I was opposite with one of my boyfriends and now with my husband - I tend to "keep up" with them. For example, if they get dessert, I do. If they order the fried country steak platter, I do. If we go to a buffet, we both load up. Bad for each other - we are both foodies though! Thus, to lose weight, we have to diet together!

mellowbugme by mellowbugme | Ames, IA
Aug 15, 2009

This doesn't surprise me at all. I've found myself doing the same thing at times. When I am eating with my girlfriends we tend to indulge in foods that we normally wouldn't because we are going out for some kind of celebration. When I am eating with a guy, say on a date, I definitely find myself watching what I eat more but this will only last through the first string of dates!

EnglehartAmber by EnglehartAmber | Victorville, CA
Aug 15, 2009

I'm not suprised. I think alot of it has to with women not knowing how much to spend while on the first date with someone new. It's kind of an awkward situation.

sandz4321 by sandz4321 | FRANKSVILLE, WI
Aug 15, 2009

I don't worry about calories when I'm dining out, I eat what I like and want, no matter who's at the table

iluvmykids by iluvmykids | los fresnos, TX
Aug 15, 2009

i really dont think this applies to married woman! my husband is always making me eat more lol he thinks im going to get sick if i dont eat enough! so i think this is only when your dating because i did it when i was dating my husband then everything changes!!!

jlynn619 by jlynn619 | Temecula, CA
Aug 15, 2009

Definetely not suprised, I think its due to comfortable level. I could use myself for example other day we went to chili's w/ a couple of friends and my boyfriend. When me and my boyfriend ate out, i chose what i wanted, ate what I wanted. When i'm with my friends I chose a lower calorie meal, like a sandwich or salad, even though I had my eyes on the steaks with mash potatoes...