People eat what their dates, friends eat

Sept. 2, 2012 at 11:26 PM

BIRMINGHAM, England, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- People unconsciously mirror the eating habits of the people they eat with even if they're trying to diet, researchers in Britain say.

Dr. Eric Robinson, a psychologist at the University of Birmingham, said the finding might explain why women often complain they get heavier when they have a boyfriend -- because they copy his eating habits, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

The researchers asked 100 female volunteers to select from a choice of food consisting of healthy fruit and vegetables or unhealthy foods, including potato, pastries and cocktail sausages.

The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found when the women ate with someone asked to pick unhealthy options of food, selected similar options, and when they ate alone or with someone who chose healthier foods, they selected healthier options.

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