Social Factors Influence Portion Choices

An interesting new study regarding the influence of other people's size and food choices on how much those around them ate provided some interesting results. In this study it was quite obvious that people's decisions in social situations (i.e. eating with others) are very much influenced by their perception of others. What they found was that people take portions similar in size to the portion of their companion regardless of that person's size. However, and this is the interesting part, despite this fact the amount of that portion they actually consume is largely influenced by the size of the person they are with. If a thin person takes a large portion and it may lead you to eat more than normal, but on the other hand if a heavier person takes that same portion you are likely to eat less even though you mimicked them in terms of portion taken.

What people don't realize in doing this is that the thinner person, even though they eat a larger amount, is likely to have a faster metabolism and be naturally disposed to having a smaller build. On the other hand the larger person can eat a smaller amount and still have a tendency to be overweight due to naturally have a bigger frame.

Take home point here is be careful on how you allow others, whether consciously or not, influence your food choices and amount you eat. One key is to get in the habit of saying "No" to more food than you know you should may be ok for the thin small framed person, but not for you. Of course this gets into the whole peer acceptance thing and not wanting to stand out amongst a crowd...with food however it may make the difference between being at a healthy weight for you or dealing with the problems associated with being overweight. Fight the need to fit in and do what's best for you, not what's best for others.