Sharing a meal with someone of the opposite sex affects how much we food we get . . . and it affects men and women in opposite ways.
Researchers from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the University of Akron watched people in campus dining halls and kept track of how much food they ordered . . . and who they ate with.
They found that when men were eating with women, they ordered MORE food than they did when eating with other guys.
When women were eating with guys, they ordered LESS food than when they were eating with just the girls.
There's one major flaw: They only looked at how much food each person ORDERED . . . not whether they actually ATE it. So if a guy bought lunch for his girlfriend and brought it to her, he'd get credit for two meals, and she didn't get any credit.
The conclusion the researchers drew is that men don't want to come off as light eaters in front of women, because it would make them seem less manly. Women don't want to look like big eaters in front of guys.
Marcia Cottingham co-authored the study. She said, quote, "You're more aware of gender when you're with the opposite gender and may want to prove your gender more."
Another theory suggested by the authors was that women focus on the social aspect of a meal when eating with the opposite sex . . . while guys just want to eat.