You are what your friends eat

Most people eat more food in the presence of an overweight companion than they would if dining with a normal weight person, a study shows.

The findings provide evidence that both the body type and serving behaviour of an eating companion may influence the quality and quantity of a person’s food intake, say psychologists.

The US researchers recruited 82 university students with an average BMI of 22.9. Participants were randomly assigned to either the normal-weight companion condition (control) or the overweight companion condition (experimental) in which the companion wore an overweight prosthesis.

After observing their female dining companion, male and female participants were asked to serve themselves pasta and salad to eat.

Results demonstrated that regardless of how the companion served