Eating behavior influenced by dining partners

Share a meal with someone and you are both likely to mimic each other's behavior and take bites at the same time rather than eating at your own pace, says a study published in the Feb. 2 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE.

This behavior was found to be more prominent at the beginning of an interaction than at the end. This study, led by Roel Hermans of Radboud University Nijmegen of the Netherlands, provides some insight into the previously established phenomenon that the overall amount of food people eat is correlated with the intake of their eating companion.

The researchers observed the behavior of 70 pairs of young women eating together and recorded their bites, which totaled almost 4,000. They then analyzed whether people mimicked each other's .

More information: Hermans RCJ, Lichtwarck-Aschoff A, Bevelander KE, Herman CP, Larsen JK, et al. (2012) Mimicry of Food Intake: The Dynamic Interplay between Eating Companions. PLoS ONE 7(2): e31027. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031027

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How to... eat more slowly

Jan 30, 2009

People who wolf down their food are more likely to be overweight and suffer from digestive problems.

Young adults need to make more time for healthy meals

Jan 06, 2009

As adolescents mature into young adults, increasing time constraints due to school or work can begin to impact eating habits in a negative way. In a study published in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Di ...

High-fat, high-sugar foods alter brain receptors

Jul 28, 2009

Overconsumption of fatty, sugary foods leads to changes in brain receptors, according to new animal research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The new research results are being presented at the 2009 annual ...

Recommended for you

Cohabiting couples differ on contraceptive use by class

1 hour ago

Most cohabiting couples intend to delay childbirth until they're married, steadily employed and financially stable. Despite these preferences, surprise pregnancies are common, particularly among working-class men and women ...

Nurse turnover assessments inconsistent

1 hour ago

(HealthDay)—More than 17 percent of new nurses leave their first job within one year of starting, according to research published online Aug. 25 in Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice.

AMA launches three programs for physician wellness

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Physicians' personal health is a global concern and three initiatives are being developed to encourage positive change, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

User comments