August 05, 2009
Women Eat Lower Calorie Food With Men Present

Women in heat eat less food with guys around. I bet this doesn't hold true for married women eating with their husbands.

Hamilton, ON. August 5, 2009 If you are a woman who dines with a man, chances are you choose food with fewer calories than if you dine with a woman. That is one of the findings in a study conducted by researchers at McMaster University.

The results appear in the online version of the international journal Appetite.

Meredith Young, PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, found that what a person chooses to eat at lunch or dinner is influenced by who they eat with and the gender make-up of the group.

You can probably measure the decline of a woman's romantic attraction for her mate by how much she eats with him around. At least in college settings (mostly single women) the presence of men restrains female wolfing of food.

By observing students in naturalistic settings in three large university cafeterias with a wide choice of food options and dining companions, Young found that women who ate with a male companion chose foods of significantly lower caloric value than did women who were observed eating with another woman.

The more men the less the women eat.

What's more, when women ate in mixed-gender groups their food choices were at the lower end of the caloric scale; the more men in the group the fewer the calories. When women ate in all-female groups, their food was significantly higher in calories.

I wonder how women eating alone compare.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 August 05 10:41 PM  Brain Appetite

Deb said at August 6, 2009 9:27 AM:

Excuse me, but women don't go into "heat". That was offensive.

MG said at August 6, 2009 5:36 PM:

Um. Estrus, then?

Acksiom said at August 6, 2009 5:48 PM:

No; you personally chose to be offended by it. Others might choose to find it amusing or even regrettably accurate, and they are every bit as entitled to do so, and their choices are every bit as valid.

You categorically do not get to decide for the rest of us what is offensive or not. We can and will make that determination ourselves, thank you very much.

John said at August 6, 2009 5:59 PM:

Tell it to my wife. She eats like a man regardless of who's around.

thorugogood said at August 6, 2009 6:04 PM:

Umm...DUH! Haven't these egghead ever dated? Women always want to give the impression they eat like birds until later in the relationship. I wonder how much this factoid cost to produce.

mpw280 said at August 6, 2009 6:09 PM:

You would think with all the pms commercials and women making excuses about "that time of the month", in heat would be at least reasonable if not downright accurate in describing when "Aunt Flo" visits. mpw

tom said at August 6, 2009 6:49 PM:

An alternative hypothesis is that fat chicks eat with other fat chicks, and the guys want to eat with the hot skinny chicks.

jaed said at August 6, 2009 6:54 PM:

"In heat"? "Wolfing"? What an ugly post. I'm surprised at you.

And yes, this result isn't surprising; women are strongly reminded that eating normally is not considered sexually attractive (for a number of reasons), and many, perhaps most men are indeed at least a little put off by the sight of a woman eating normally. Of course women eat less - in front of people in general, and a romantic prospect in particular. For heaven's sake, this norm goes back to the Victorian era at least. (There is a memorable scene early in *Gone With the Wind* in which Mammy explains these realities to Scarlett, force-feeding her a huge breakfast so she won't be able to eat at the barbecue and evening ball.) This isn't news.

Shaky Barnes said at August 6, 2009 7:39 PM:

Yeah and they fart less around men, too.

Acksiom said at August 6, 2009 7:42 PM:

". . .women are strongly reminded almost exclusively by other women and the femelitist entertainment mass print and broadcast media of the myth that eating normally is not considered sexually attractive (for a number of reasons), and many, perhaps most women like to deny the active agency of their own gender in this regard by trying to shuffle it off onto men through pretending that men are indeed at least a little put off by the sight of a woman eating normally."

Fixed that for ya.

Mahon said at August 6, 2009 7:58 PM:

Do the same women eat less when with men? This won't win any friends either, but from a statistical/logical standpoint, maybe women who eat less are somehow more likely to be eating with men than those who eat more. It's not clear what factors are controlled for here.

tom swift said at August 6, 2009 8:22 PM:

Do they eat less food, or do they eat lower calorie food? Both claims are made here interchangeably.

It seems odd, in either case. Men don't obsess much about what women eat. I doubt that most even notice. And a good thing, too.

mimeemo said at August 6, 2009 8:37 PM:

It would be interesting to see a follow-up study examining the females eating less calories around men and if they were more successful in the romance department than those who ate more calories around men.

Anomylous said at August 6, 2009 8:38 PM:

Deb, you don't have the right not to be offended.

Anyway, I thought the comment was humorous. I'd be willing to bet my next months salary that a similar comment about men that poked a little fun in the same way would get you to chuckle.

Anyway, back onto the topic. No surprises here really. Both sexes will adjust behavior around the opposite sex, especially when they're attempting to "hook up". People act differently when they're hanging out with friends vs out at a business lunch.

Anyway, I'm in the market myself for an attractive woman, 35-40, who likes good food and isn't afraid to moan with satisfaction if it's really good food. "Oh! Ooooh! Wow... This is really good..." Also a big plus if she doesn't mind wearing food and having me eat it off of her body.

gourmand said at August 6, 2009 9:10 PM:

A healthy appetite is extremely attractive, especially if I'm the cook.

Megs said at August 6, 2009 9:11 PM:

Funny...I've always eaten a ton in front of hubby, even when we first met. I have a big appetite. I can often out eat him. :)

willis said at August 7, 2009 4:40 AM:

"Excuse me, but women don't go into "heat". That was offensive."

My wife would agree with you.

jz said at August 7, 2009 10:34 AM:

"women go into heat." I felt offended too..and it's scientifically inaccurate.

Lono said at August 7, 2009 1:04 PM:

Man it would be nice if women went into heat - but I suppose the year round mating more than makes up for it...


At the very least some of you gals could be a little more direct when you are in the mood for romance, eh?

(we're not very good at taking hints)

Randall Parker said at August 7, 2009 7:52 PM:


"Wolfing" is offensive? Really? Care to explain why?

"heat": Women do not go into heat? Really? See Ovulating Women Prefer Smell Of Dominant Men and Women Eat Less While Ovulating To Make Time For Sex and Nursing Women More Attracted To Higher Pitch Male Voices.

Women are far more under the sway of their hormones than they want to believe. Also see High Hormone Level Causes Serial Monogamy In Women and Ovulation Raises Pitch Of Women's Voices.

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