by Anna Maltby
Walter ChinHeaded out to dinner with friends tonight? Chew on this: In the first systematic review on the subject, researchers have found that our perceptions of social norms for food -- i.e. what and how much people around us are eating -- have a significant impact on our eating decisions.
In the studies the researchers examined, when participants perceived that others were making low-calorie food choices, it significantly increased the likelihood that they would make low-calorie choices, too (same went for thinking others were eating lots of calories and actually eating lots of calories). In other studies, subjects were likely to make a similar food choice to what they thought others were eating (not just how much).
See more: 20 Superfoods For Weight Loss
"It appears that in some contexts, conforming to informational eating norms may be a way of reinforcing identity to a social group, which is in line with social identity theory," lead author Eric Robinson, PhD, of