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Does a Mate Depend On What You Ate?

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Sending signals through menu choices

When May flowers start to bloom, that bounce comes back into your step, and clouds seem to take the shape of hearts in the sky – it’s the time of year when spring fever is in full effect.  New research suggests that we may also alter our food choices in order to seem more appealing to potential mates.  The study was published in the journal Appetite

Investigators asked participants between 18-33 years old a series of questions regarding hypothetical dining scenarios.  They were assigned to having partners of the same or opposite sex (or no partner at all), each with varying levels of attractiveness.  Then they made meal selections from a fast-casual restaurant menu with a wide variety of options including “lighter choices”, salads and sandwiches to steak, ribs, chicken and seafood.  Nutrition information was provided and prices were excluded to remove any financial factors.  As they suspected, they saw that both single men and women ordered fewer calories when in the presence of a physically attractive dining partner. 

Why?  It’s thought that ordering a high-calorie meal could imply lack of concern for personal health, while ordering a modest meal that’s lower in calories suggests regard for health and a desire to make a positive impression.  Participants who were in a relationship, dining with someone of the same sex or eating alone were not as concerned with calories as single participants. 

Choosing a meal is already a complex decision involving budget, location, timing, availability – and now this study suggests that our dining partners may also influence our meal choices.  Make the healthy choice the easy choice for your next date night by serving our Un-Charcuterie Platter or Cauliflower Gnocchi with Mushrooms – both are perfect for sharing!

Published May 1, 2019

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