If you're anything like us, you're probably resigned to the fact that devouring half (or more) of a pizza is, well, the right way to eat a pizza. But if you're a guy, the amount of food you eat might have more to do with who you're dining with than your actual appetite, according to new a new study out of Cornell University.
Published in the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science, the study finds that men eat way more food when they're in the company of women than they do when they're in the company of other men, according to a press release.
Over the course of two weeks, researchers observed 105 adults who ate at an "all-you-can-eat Italian buffet" and recorded how many slices of pizza and bowls of salad each person ate, and the genders of the people and their dining partners. The men who ate with at least one woman chowed down on 93% more pizza and 86% more salad than men who dined with only other guys.
It's no secret that guys tend to do some pretty weird stuff when they're around women (just ask women), and while the study didn't look to explain why men eat so much more in the company of women, researchers have put forth a simple theory, according to a report by CBS News.
"The evolutionary psychology view that we test through the new study relies on an understanding that people have an evolved tendency to 'show off' in front of others, whether it's for dominance and/or to show a kind of attractiveness," Dr. Kevin Kniffin, visiting assistant professor at Cornell University and lead author of the study, told CBS. "For example, there is prior work that looks at men eating spicy food as a way to 'show off,' and our new article looks at actual volume of food consumed -- both healthy and unhealthy food -- as a way to 'show off.'"
Additionally, the study finds that many of the women who participated said they felt like they were rushed through their meal and that they overate, although the researchers found no evidence of that, according to the report.
This is all to say that next time you're on a dinner date, there's yet another thing you can be self-conscious about. Oh, and be careful not to reveal too much about yourself with the way you eat your pizza.
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and eats as much damn pizza as he wants, regardless of who he's with. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.