Your dinner date could make you put on weight

(Medical Xpress)—If your dinner date chooses unhealthily from a restaurant menu, you are less likely to stick to healthy options, according to University of Birmingham research published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

A team of psychologists wanted to understand whether the behaviour of those around us undermined or encouraged either healthy or unhealthy eating. They carried out a study to examine whether selecting food in the presence of another person who is choosing mostly low or influenced their eating partner's .

Participants selected a lunch from a buffet of high calorie foods, such as cocktail sausages and crisps, as well as low calorie options, such as vegetable sticks. They made their selections in the company of a member of the research team who chose either predominantly high calorie options or low calorie options.

After a laboratory test, the researchers discovered that the presence of another person and their choice of food can influence the food choices of an eating partner, as selection of vegetable sticks was reduced when the eating partner avoided them.

Dr Eric Robinson from the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology, who led the study, said, 'We wanted to find out whether food choices are affected by an eating companion. Our research suggests that eating with other people can affect our intentions to eat healthily.

'We would advise people to be aware of what those around them are choosing to eat, and to make sure they stick to their intentions to eat a .'

Dr Suzanne Higgs, Reader in Psychobiology of Appetite at the University of Birmingham, said, 'This research underlines the of eating and how this influences our behaviour'.

More information: The research is published in the British Journal of Nutrition: journals.cambridge.org/action/… e=online&aid=8600141

Related Stories

Calorie density key to losing weight

date Jun 08, 2007

Eating smart, not eating less, may be the key to losing weight. A year-long clinical trial by Penn State researchers shows that diets focusing on foods that are low in calorie density can promote healthy weight loss while ...

Remember your lunch if you want to avoid afternoon snack

date May 16, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Psychologists at the University of Birmingham have discovered that focussing on eating lunch and paying great attention to the food can reduce snacking in the afternoon, according to research published ...

Eating soup will help cut calories at meals

date May 01, 2007

Eating low-calorie soup before a meal can help cut back on how much food and calories you eat at the meal, a new Penn State study shows. Results show that when participants in the study ate a first course of soup before a ...

Eat healthy -- your kids are watching

date May 30, 2012

If lower-income mothers want kids with healthy diets, it's best to adopt healthy eating habits themselves and encourage their children to eat good foods rather than use force, rewards or punishments, says a Michigan State ...

Recommended for you

Cost of lifestyle advice during pregnancy is worth it

date Mar 30, 2015

Research from the University of Adelaide shows that the additional cost of providing  one-on-one lifestyle advice to overweight and obese women during pregnancy is offset by improved outcomes at birth.

Team develops anti-obesity treatment in animal models

date Mar 26, 2015

Researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) have shown that partial pharmacological inhibition of the PI3K enzyme in obese mice and monkeys reduces body weight and physiological manifestations ...

Binge eating linked to comorbidities in obese adults

date Mar 25, 2015

(HealthDay)—For obese adults, binge eating disorder (BED) may be associated with specific medical comorbidities, according to a study published online March 16 in the International Journal of Eating Di ...

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.