Better to Dine With an Over-Eating Fattie if You Want to Stay Thin

An ASU researcher in collaboration with a Canadian research team made some interesting discoveries about the amount of food we eat and the company we keep.

Andrea C. Morales, an assistant professor of marketing at ASU and her Canadian counterparts recruited 210 students to participate in the study and told them they were doing research about how people reacted to certain films.

The students were told they would be paired with another student to watch a film. However, the other student was actually a member of the research team.

The researcher would either appear as she normally does, size zero and 105 pounds, or in a big ol' fat suit, making her appear to be a size 16, 180-pounder.

The researchers found that when they offered the students snacks during the movie, the students reacted differently depending on which version of researcher did the offering. But not in the way you would think.

"Our findings indicate that the size of the person you dine with matters much less than the size of the meal they order," the study, which was published in the Journal of Consumer Research says.. "If a heavy-set colleague eats a lot, you are likely to adjust your behavior and eat less. But a thin friend who eats a lot may lead you to eat more than you normally would."

Essentially, the study tells us that fat people who eat a lot repulse us to the point that we eat moderately or lightly, while skinny people with giant appetites give us the confidence to pig out.

Regardless of your weight, being in the same room with hot dog eating legend Kobayashi is not recommended. 

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James King
Contact: James King

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