Food Consumption in the Presence of Others

Anastasiya Pocheptsova, University of Maryland, USA
Sara Freiberg, Yale University, USA
Ravi Dhar, Yale University, USA
We argue that the presence of others during food consumption prompts increased feelings of guilt due to lay belief that associates eating in groups with unhealthier food choices. This in turn leads to higher consumption reports as compared to situations where individuals are dining alone. In four studies we show that people believe that they consumed more calories in a group setting than in individual setting even when they objectively consumed the same meal. As the result people dining in groups attempt to compensate for their perceived overconsumption by subsequently selecting a more healthy option.
[ to cite ]:
Anastasiya Pocheptsova, Sara Freiberg, and Ravi Dhar (2010) ,"Food Consumption in the Presence of Others ", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 122-125 .