Healthy Choices

Dated: 01/17/2015

Views: 1466

 Do your tablemates affect your eating habits?

In a recent study of human behavior, scientists found that the heavier your fellow diners, the more likely you are to overeat. You're also more likely to choose unhealthy foods.

In the study, 82 college students were invited to eat a spaghetti and salad lunch under one of four conditions. Two times, a normal-weight actress accompanying the students wore a fat suit-one time eating more salad than pasta, the other eating more pasta than salad. On the other two occasions, she didn't wear the fat suit-and again alternated between eating more pasta or more salad. After tracking what the student diners ate, the researchers found that the students who joined the actress when she wore the fat suit consumed more pasta, regardless of how she ate.

Researchers hypothesize that people look for social cues about how much is appropriate to eat, and react accordingly. The overall message, of course, isn't to avoid eating with overweight friends, but to be more aware of your eating habits and listen to your appetite and fullness as cues to stop eating. Eating slowly can help: It takes about 10 to 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you're full.

Jim Mazzerina

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Jim Mazzerina

ABR, CRS, E-Pro, RSPS, SFR, SRES Jim is a “Jersey boy” originally from north Jersey in the Totowa, Little Falls area. He made the move to Stafford about 30 years ago, after finding the perfect....

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