Group of friends making pizza in the kitchen

How your eating habits reveal a hidden “a-gender”

At our heart humans are strange beasts and we do strange things. Why do we bow when meeting royalty? Is it to show that we don’t have an infectious case of lice? Why do we express our affection by donating millions of bacteria via tongue-to-tongue combat? Why we say, “How are you?” when we really mean “Get out my way, can’t you see that I’m late!” Yes, put a human being in a social situation of any dimension and you will get some pretty peculiar behaviour as has been shown amply in a new study that looked at how we behave when eating.

According to the researchers this indicates that men overeat to show off.

In the new study researchers observed adults lunching at an all-you-can-eat Italian buffet over the course of two weeks. They recorded how many slices of pizza and how many salad bowls each diner consumed. The gender of the diner’s eating partners was also noted. Before leaving the restaurant the diners were intercepted by the researcher and asked to complete a short survey indicating their levels of fullness, their feelings of hurriedness and their comfort while eating.

The results showed that men who dined with at least one woman ate 93 per cent more pizza and 86 per cent more salad than men who dined only with other men. The amount that women ate was not impacted by whether they were eating with men or women. However, when eating with men the women indicated that they were feeling rushed through their meal and they overestimated how much they actually ate.

According to the researchers this indicates that men overeat to show off. On the face of it, it is hard to see how talking through a mouthful of Hawaiian pizza could be calculated to impress your eating partner and the authors do admit that in the end the behaviour is “self-handicapping”, a psychological term that means “self-defeating”, or in lay-person’s terms, “pretty stupid”.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

You May Also Like

Mothers Day For Those Also With Mums In Heaven

Mothers Day – for those also with mums in Heaven

Loving And You A Recipe For Valentines Day

Loving and You – A recipe for Valentines Day

Stimming Child Lying Down

Stimming and recognising overwhelming emotions

being single

How to find peace with being single