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

Related Stories

How to... eat more slowly

date 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

date 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

date 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

Breastfeeding protects against environmental pollution

date 9 hours ago

Living in a city with a high level of vehicle traffic or close to a steel works means living with two intense sources of environmental pollution. However, a study conducted by the UPV/EHU researcher Aitana ...

When it comes to hearing, diet may trump noise exposure

date 10 hours ago

Although the old wives' tale about carrots being good for your eyesight has been debunked, University of Florida researchers have found a link between healthy eating and another of your five senses: hearing.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.