It might just be time to change that familiar saying, “You are what you eat.”
Perhaps it should be altered to “You are what the people you hang around with eat.”
That’s what researchers in the UK concluded after reviewing 15 studies of dietary habits.
The desire to “fit in,” they found, could well determine how fit you are.
If, for example, the friends you have lunch with are having a salad, some salmon and fruit for dessert, that’s probably what you’ll be ordering.
But if your buddies enjoy gathering at your nearest Burger King, wolfing down some cheeseburgers, fries and shakes, you’re likely to do the same.
Interesting, this desire to be ‘in with the in crowd’ isn’t just limited to the times you’re out with them. It seems the way you eat in private is also influenced by what the researchers called your “perceived group norm.”
So if you want to eat better, it might be a good idea to hang out with the ‘picky eaters’ who set a good example of what and what not to order. Or if you can’t, you might try doing that yourself — and getting your friends to say, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
Source: “I’ll have what they’re having: study finds social norms influence food choices” December 30, 2013, Elsevier, elsvier.com