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Eating Heavily: Men Eat More in the Company of Women

Bibliographic Information:
Kevin M. Kniffin, Ozge Sigirci, and Brian Wansink 2016.  Evolutionary Psychological Science (2016) 2:38-46 [producer].   Springer International Publishing 2015 [distributor].   Codebook: R2E-KNIFFIN-2016.  This study includes files created by Cornell researchers and/or staff.

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User note:   The de-identified data (eliminating height, weight and age variables) can be found at:

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DocumentationV:\r2e\KNIFFIN-2016\Comment_Eating_Heavily.pdf363 KB  /  331 KB

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Stata ProgramV:\r2e\KNIFFIN-2016\Eating_Heavily_Script.doKB  /  KB

Abstract:  Sexual selection has been commonly considered by evolutionary psychologists interested in eating disorders among women; however, comparable attention has not been paid to problematic eating by men. We present the results of a field study through which we find that men eat more food when sharing a meal with women than with men. Notably, men appear to eat larger quantities of both unhealthy (pizza) and healthy (salad) food when in the company of women. More specifically, men eating with women ate 93% more pizza (1.44 more slices) and 86% more salad. Additionally, while women do not eat significantly differently as a function of the sex of their dining partners,women eating with men tended to estimate themselves to have eaten more and reported feeling like they were rushed and overate. In addition to expanding upon previous research concerning women’s eating behaviors, our findings concerning male overconsumption in the presence of women appear to present an example of self-handicap behavior.

The Stata code ( and data (PizzaStudy.txt) associated with this study reproduced: a) Tables in Comment_Eating_Heavily.pdf that did not involve age, weight, and height variables, which were were removed to de-identify the dataset; and b) output log appended at the bottom of the Comment_Eating_Heavily.pdf

Keywords: Eating; Sexual selection; Self-handicap behavior; Costly signaling; Obesity

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