How Food Choices Of Our Friends Affect What We Eat

You’ve probably heard the old saying “you are what you eat.”  But according to a new study, what you eat may be partly determined by who you’re with. writer Danny Matteson reports that researchers from the University of Liverpool found the food choices of the people around you help to determine the choices you make for yourself.

So if you’re out to lunch with a friend and he orders a burger, you’re more likely to get or burger or something similar.  On the other hand, if your friend orders salad, you’re more likely to get something healthy as well

According to lead researcher Eric Robinson, the study’s findings go along with social identity theory — or the theory that a person’s sense of who they are is based on their group membership.

The researchers also found that besides helping determining what you eat, your social circles also influence how much you eat — if they eat more, you’re more likely to eat more.

The new results line up well with other recent studies on the psychological aspects of eating.

Last year researchers found that found larger bowls can lead to kids asking for larger portions of food.

And a 2007 study that found obesity can be contagious. When one person gains weight, their friends are more likely to gain weight as well.

The team behind the study says more research needs to be done on the topic, but that it could be used to help develop effective public health campaigns.

The book of proverbs has a lot to say about who we hang out with.  Proverbs 13:20 says: “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.”

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.