Can friends, particularly the fuller-figured ones, be a bad influence when it comes to food?
The answer is "yes," according to scientists at Southern Illinois and Cornell Universities who hired an actress in a fat suit to test their theory that overweight friends can cause you to make unhealthy choices.
When the actress appeared heavier and served herself a portion of pasta versus salad, her companions did the same. When she chose to serve herself a hearty helping of salad, her fellow diners followed suit but opted for smaller servings.
These results demonstrated that people may eat larger portions of unhealthy food and smaller portions of healthy food when eating with an overweight person, probably because the health commitment goal is less activated.
Does what you eat have to do with the person you're dining with? Is it a subconscious form of peer pressure or good judgment amnesia?