According to research published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, taking meals in the company of men rather than women generally means eating less, reports NPR. The research was conducted by graduate students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the University of Akron.
The two researchers studied the portions consumed by students when sitting with each other or in groups in school dining venues. After factoring in a multitude of variables the researchers came to one conclusion: that the gender of the dining partner(s) was the most significant factor in how much a person ate.
Perhaps not surprisingly, women tended to eat less in the company of men than when with other women, a phenomenon often noted before and attributed to the assumption (perhaps mistaken) that guys don't dig chicks who chow down.
What was more head-turning was the finding that men also ate less in the presence of other men (and more in the presence of women). The researchers had no explanations other than the possible presence of “unconscious scripts about how much to eat” being at work.
Just Desserts figures one of those “unconscious scripts” is that guys think eating heartily impresses women, the reverse of what women think about their own eating behaviors around men.
It also means that if you're in the restaurant business, you should avoid groups of single guys while hosting as many “girls night out” all-female parties as you can manage. Your check average will thank you…