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Men Tend to Overeat During Social Gatherings to Show Off

Dec 08, 2016 04:20 AM EST
Men were more likely to eat more in social gatherings to show off and boost their ego.
(Photo : Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for New York-New York)

A new study from Cornell Food and Brand Lab revealed that men were more likely to eat more in social gatherings to show off and boost their ego.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers of Nutrition, showed that men are at risk of overeating when in the company of friends as a way to demonstrate virility and strength. Additionally, the risk of overeating during social situations was still high despite not having any kind of incentive for doing so.

 "Even if men aren't thinking about it, eating more than a friend tends to be understood as a demonstration of virility and strength," explained Kevin Kniffin, PhD, co author of the study, in a press release.

For the study, the researchers conducted a competitive chicken wing eating challenge. The participants of the challenge were all college-aged students that have similar weights. The challenge was either conducted in the presence or absence of spectators. The champion of the competition will receive a worthless plastic medal.

The researchers observed that men ate four times than usual during the challenge despite the cheap price. Additionally, the gluttony of men increased further in the presence of a cheering crowd, stuffing chicken wings into their mouth 30 percent more of what they usually eat. On the other hand, women tend to eat less in the presence of spectators.

Men find the experience of competitively eating chicken wings in front of spectators to be challenging, cool and exhilarating, while women see the experience to be slightly embarrassing. These show that men competitiveness may dramatically increase in the presence of other challengers and crowds, even with at a low-stakes environment.

With the holiday season just around the corner, more social gathering with sumptuous and delicious meals will be available. The researchers advise over-competitive males to concentrate on their foods and not on their friends. If the urge to show off is just too strong, the researchers recommend a friendly battle of arm wrestling.

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