Have you noticed that the men you are with eat a lot? It’s not your imagination, according to a new study published in Evolutionary Psychological Science last week. In a small experiment of 105 adults performed by Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, researchers found that men who were on dates with women at a buffet tended to eat much more than when they were with other men. Perhaps that man-bun sporting Tinder date is overdosing on pasta primavera as a way to prove to you that he is no weak-bodied layabout. (Although, if he took you to a buffet, you may have bigger issues to deal with.)
The study explains that men who were with “one woman ate 93 percent more pizza compared with those who ate exclusively with other men” and that isn’t just limited to overindulging in delicious carbs and cheese. “Men ate 86 percent more salad in the company of women,” too, noted Kevin Kniffin, lead author of the study.
His theory is that this tendency to eat more around women links to men wanting to show off and impress. According to Kniffin, overeating reveals to sexual partners a “biological fitness,” to which women are supposed to respond to positively, the study postulates: “Engaging in risky or unhealthy behavior, the thinking goes, demonstrates an extraordinary ability to tolerate challenges, even self-inflicted ones.”
Risky behavior: four slices of pizza instead of three. A real turn-on.