June 5, 2012

Overeating is related with unacquainted persons

Did you know that when two or more women who are unacquainted eat together they tend to eat more than they would naturally do?

As strange as it may sound, this is the discovery made by Roel C. J. Hermans, a psychologist from the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. He videotaped 70 pairs of women who had never met before as they ate together, and one of each pair was told how much to eat.

After one woman would take a bite, in about five seconds the other one would imitate her gesture. This mimicry was especially observed at the women who did not receive any instructions on how to eat, regardless of either their own body size or that of the woman they were imitating.

The explanation, beyond the people’s natural tendency to imitate, is, apparently, the desire to integrate into a group and the need to be liked by the others. However, researchers say this behavior can lead to overeating.

Photos: bodyandsoul.com.au, news.80spurple.com