Bite for Bite, Women Diners Copy Each Other

148

Credit: Lunch photo via Shutterstock

Bite for Bite, Women Diners Copy Each Other

Women whoِ dine togetherِ tend toِ eat atِ the sameِ pace, according toِ a newِ study.
They foundِ that theِ two women keptِ similar eating paces, perhapsِ inِ anِ attempt toِ ingratiate themselvesِ with eachِ other.
In ourِ study, twoِ previously unknown women wereِ interacting withِ eachِ other, andِ it isِ possible thatِ their motive toِ getِ alongِ with eachِ other, orِ their motivation toِ beِ liked, mightِ haveِ increased theirِ likelihood ofِ mimicry.

The study is published online in the Feb.
2 issue of the journal PLoS One.

Imitation during meals

Previous studies haveِ foundِ that otherِ people influence ourِ eating andِ drinking behavior.
While manyِ studies haveِ focused onِ howِ one diner affects theِ other, theِ Dutch researchers saidِ this study aimed toِ find outِ ifِ the interaction betweenِ partners wentِ bothِ ways.
Through a hidden camera inِ a lamp, experimenters counted theِ number ofِ bites takenِ andِ the timing ofِ these bites.

Behavioral mimicry

There couldِ beِ several reasons forِ this pattern, Hermans said.
It couldِ beِ due toِ a basic desire toِ mimic othersِ — whenِ women seeingِ their dining partner takeِ a bite, itِ activates theirِ motor system toِ takeِ a bite asِ well.
Or thereِ couldِ beِ a deeper level ofِ social cues atِ work, whereِ women useِ oneِ another’s behavior toِ guide theirِ ownِ behavior, inِ order toِ adhere toِ a norm.

Future studies should distinguish between ingratiation and pure mimicry, she said.

Hermans saidِ people shouldِ becomeِ aware ofِ their social environment andِ aware thatِ inِ certainِ instances theyِ mayِ ignore internal signals andِ follow theِ lead ofِ others.
This doesn’tِ have toِ beِ a problem ifِ you don’tِ want toِ lose weight, butِ if youِ wantِ toِ lose weight, I wouldِ advise people toِ notِ only toِ focus onِ eating healthy, butِ to alsoِ be aware ofِ the environmental factors thatِ mightِ influence yourِ intake, heِ said.
 .