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Does Dining in a Group Cause You to Eat More?

Appropriate portions can be difficult to determine, especially when the person sitting next to you has served himself or herself a heaping plate. Compared to your neighbor's meal, your portion might look reasonable, but when removed from the group you might think twice about whether your serving size really is just right. This is something to consider as you rationalize taking seconds at Thanksgiving dinner.

A Pennsylvania State University study found the average person eats 44 percent more calories dining in a group than she would eating alone, and the findings make sense to me. Aside from the comparison perspective, we linger for a longer time at the table and may end up consuming more, not to mention those seemingly harmless bites you take from your neighbor's plate. Have you noticed that dining in a group causes you to eat more?


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