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

'Tis the season to overeat

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Overeating is common during the holidays, but there are strategies that can help you eat in moderation, an expert says.

Don't let burns mar your holidays

4 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The risk of burns from fires and cooking accidents increases during the holidays, so you need to be extra cautious, an expert says.

Irish court mulls rights of dead woman vs. fetus

Dec 24, 2014

A lawyer representing a 17-week-old fetus living inside the clinically dead body of its mother told a Dublin court Wednesday that the unborn child's right to life trumps the woman's right to a dignified death.

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.