What you eat depends on your sex and eating companions
In a naturalistic study, we investigated the influence of gender, group size and gender composition of groups of eaters on food selected for lunch and dinner (converted to total calories per meal) of 469 individuals (198 groups) in three large university cafeterias. In dyads, women observed eating with a male companion chose foods of significantly lower caloric value than those observed eating with another woman. Overall, group size was not a significant predictor of calories, but women's calories were negatively predicted by numbers of men in the group, while the numbers of women in the group had a marginally significant positive impact on calorie estimates. Men's calorie totals were not affected by total numbers of men or women. This study supports previous investigations, but is unique in making naturalistic observations.
Interesting isn't it. Women are trying to impress potential mates by limiting their food intake, a display of restraint, or control. This is a woman who cares about her appearance, who is not a greedy pig.....
Here is what the Guardian says about it:
Young women use their food to send a signal to men, suggests the study. Just like clothing accessories, they pick meals to enhance their desirability to the opposite sex. "The salad leaves are meant to say, 'I'm pretty; I'm attractive; I take care of myself'," says Young.
And the pressure increases with the number of potential partners around. As for the men, they didn't watch what they scoffed at all.
I like the fact that men do not give a toss about their own diets!