Feeling particularly stuffed this holiday season? New research suggests this is most likely your families fault. Just when you thought you had enough excuses to avoid them this holiday season, turns out they might also be responsible for your expanding waistline. The research found that meal sizes were between 29% and 48% larger when eating with friends than when alone.
So why is this the case? The authors of the report suggest it might be due to how our ancestors ate. Because our food could be scarce, we subconsciously encouraged each other to eat more to better be prepared for the lean times. Or as the author put it, the “recent and rapid transition to a dietary landscape in which food is abundant has created forms of evolutionary mismatch… in the case of social facilitation, we have inherited a mechanism that ensured equitable food distribution but which now exerts a powerful influence on unhealthy dietary intakes.” Which is a fancy way of saying we used to share food because there wasn't much, but now we have too much food. Speak for yourself science, I need that third helping of turkey.
The other explanation could simply be that eating with others is fun, and we tend to do more of something that we enjoy. If we are sitting around the table longer, you are more likely to pick at more of the food available. So, maybe those of you who aren't the biggest fans of your families are actually the lucky ones...
What do you think? Are you more likely to eat more around family? Is your uncle really to blame?