Men's tactic for impressing the ladies: Eating 93 percent more pizza in their presence

Young adults sharing a pizza
(Image credit: iStock)

Ladies: If a man is stuffing his face with pizza in front of you, you should take it as a compliment. He just might be trying to impress you, at least according to a new study.

After observing adults at an all-you-can-eat Italian buffet for two weeks, Cornell University researchers found that men tend to eat a whopping 93 percent more pizza — 1.44 extra slices — when they dine in a woman's presence, compared to when they're chowing down with dudes. Same goes for salads, though somewhat less so than with pizza. On average, guys eat 86 percent more leafy greens when women are around.

"These findings suggest that men tend to overeat to show off," lead author Kevin Kniffin said. "Instead of a feat of strength, it's a feat of eating." Basically, the study explains, men are trying to show "that they posses extraordinary skills, advantages, and/or surplus energy in degrees that are superior to other men."

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Women's eating habits, on the other hand, weren't affected by men's presence. Females ate the same amount of pizza when they were with women as they did with men, though they did say they felt "rushed" and tended to think they ate too much when they were with men. Researchers found no evidence to back that fear up.

The big takeaway, according to Kniffin? "People should calm down when eating with members of the opposite sex."

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