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Study: Men Overeat to Show Off to Women

A new study found that men often overeat as a way of showing off.
A new study found that men often overeat as a way of showing off.

Different male species have many ways to attract a mate. Some have colorful feathers, luxuriant manes or bulging muscles, but a new study suggests the human male tries to impress females by overeating.

Writing in the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science, Cornell University researchers found that men who dined with women ate 93 percent more pizza and 86 percent more salad when accompanied by woman than when with other males.

"These findings suggest that men tend to overeat to show off - you can also see this tendency in eating competitions which almost always have mostly male participants," explains lead author Kevin Kniffin, PhD, of Cornell University.

For the study, the researchers observed 105 adults having lunch at an all-you-can-eat Italian buffet and recorded the amount of pizza and salad eaten. They also noted the sex of the subjects’ dining partners.

As they left, a researcher approached them, asking them to fill out a questionnaire “indicating their level of fullness after eating, and their feelings of hurriedness and comfort while eating.”

Unlike men, women tended to eat the same amount regardless of the sex of their dining partner, however women did indicate they felt they’d overeaten and were rushed when dining with men.

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