Do you eat differently based on the people you are eating with? A recent study found that your eating companion’s weight may effect how you eat. When eating with an overweight companion, participants in the study were more likely to eat large portions of pasta and small portions of salad. When eating with a normal weight companion, participants ate more salad and less pasta.
While the results of this study are interesting, I am definitely not suggesting that you stop being friends with people who are overweight. That is just rude! However, it is a good idea to evaluate your eating tendencies around different groups of people. If you tend to overeat around one group of friends, be more conscious of what and how much you eat next time you are with them. If you change your eating habits, it could influence them for the better as well, making the whole group healthier. If you find eating healthy difficult around a certain group, try to find other activities to enjoy with them besides eating.
Peer pressure when eating is a real thing. My husband’s family is very good about being health conscious, and they often share entrees or order salads when they go out to eat. When I’m with them, I tend to order salads or a smaller entree. When I go out with my best friend, I feel comfortable ordering as unhealthy as I want and getting dessert to top it off.
Remember, you can make healthy choices, no matter the circumstances. A little planning and evaluating relationships may just help you, too.
Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!