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November 26, 2019 Tuesday 10:22:55 AM IST

People eat more with friends

Teacher Insights

People eat more in the company of friends and family than when dining alone. This phenomenon is known as 'social facilitation'.

Previous studies found that those eating with others ate up to 48% more food than solo diners and women with obesity eating socially consumed up to 29% more than when eating alone.

Experts at the University of Birmingham led a team of researchers in Britain and Australia who found that eating 'socially' has a powerful effect on increasing food intake relative to dining alone, after evaluating 42 existing studies of research into social dining.
Eating with others is more enjoyable and enhanced reward from social eating could increase consumption.


Providing food becomes associated with praise and recognition from friends and family, strengthening social bonds. Individual members match their behaviour to others, promoting a larger meal than might otherwise be eaten in the absence of this social competition.

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