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

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...

gabbagabba04 by gabbagabba04 | Ireton, IA
Aug 15, 2009

Well I'm not surprised at all either. This sounds just like my friends. Although I have to say I just don't quite understand it because I'm definitely not one to eat less when I'm out with a guy. Yes the big pasta salad may have way more calories, but it tastes sooooo much better. When I'm out having fun with a guy on a date I want to enjoy myself. Plus why would I want a man that thinks I shouldn't eat? Am I supposed to deprive myself of one of life's great pleasures forever just to impress him? I don't think so.

marroyo_15 by marroyo_15 | chicago, IL
Aug 15, 2009

the studies dont suprise me but i have done this so the man im with doesnt think im an overeater

jgarner17 by jgarner17 | Beaver Dam, KY
Aug 14, 2009

I am not surprised at all by the findings, I can actually admit to doing the same thing if i didnt know a guy very well like on a first date. After getting to know them of course thats when we all pig out! We dont want to scare them off right away!!

blueeyedgirl29 by blueeyedgirl29 | MARIANNA, FL
Aug 14, 2009

I guess because I have always had more buy friends then girlfriends I am really comfortable splurging when dining out on a date, mostly because a long time ago I decided that what you see is what you get and if you like me on the first date just being me then you get to have a second date. :) I even order a non icecream dessert to go, hahaha A girls gotta eat, ladies

califdrm5 by califdrm5 | Banning, CA
Aug 14, 2009

I am not surprised, however come on women lets be honest. This world has too many opinions and not enough of the truth. Be comfortable while eating with someone. Order a smaller portion, or an appetizer instead of a whole meal. Enjoy your meal and the gentlemen will not change there opinion of you.

KJoH123 by KJoH123 | Downers Grove, IL
Aug 14, 2009

This seems to be true at most times in the begining of a relationship, but I also think it just depends on the person you are eating with. I have girlfriends that I eat less around and I am sure other women are the same way. At this point in my relationship with my boyfriend I am not afraid to eat around him. In the begining I was.

antenalmackeba by antenalmackeba | South Ozone Park, NY
Aug 14, 2009

nope..not suprised at alll.... i did it last week....i just started dating this guy and i was about to order the salad and he asked if thats all im gonna eat...so i just ordered the same thing he did....cornbeef hash, potatoes, turkey sausage and it came with toast...but usually i would have a small meal or just a salad or even if the meal came in a large order i usually leave alot of it on the plate.

Aug 14, 2009


ecronin100 by ecronin100 | Ellensburg, WA
Aug 14, 2009

I'm not suprised by these statistics. Society has pressured women into thinking that they have to look a certain way to be accepted by the opposite sex especially. I used to do the same thing but now I have realized that I am simpy decieving the man I am out with. If we stay together I'm clearly not planning on eating only salads at every meal, so why start it that way? Might as well be completely myself up front instead of pretending to be what I'm not and therefore wasting both our time :-)

hannahiscool by hannahiscool | hudson, OH
Aug 14, 2009

Im not suprised! I do this whenever i go out any guy! I usualy order a side salad or something.

redemy403 by redemy403 | Catharpin, VA
Aug 14, 2009

This doesn't surprise me at all. I live on a college campus and when I go out to eat with my girlfriends we don't really ignore our cravings or appetites. However, add a couple of guys to the mix, friends or boyfriends, and suddenly the females are hardly finishing their salads. I think there are a couple more influences while on a date that keep a women from eating much. There is, of course, the wanting to look reserved and not wanting to put the rack of ribs you are truly craving in your stomach and all over your face and hands while on the date. Also, If he's buying you may want to keep it at a reasonable price. Women also may not have as much of an appetite due to nerves from the date.

stefaniek99 by stefaniek99 | SILVER SPRING, MD
Aug 14, 2009

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. ;-)

staceydv44 by staceydv44 | westlake, LA
Aug 14, 2009

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

smemmolo by smemmolo | Malden, MA
Aug 14, 2009

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.