, Volume 28, Issue 5-6, pp 335-344

What is she eating? The effects of meal size on impressions of a female eater

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How does what a woman eats affect others' impressions of her? One hundred and thirteen male and female college students, mainly White and middle class, watched a videotape of a female student eating one of four meals that varied in size and gender connotations. Results showed that meal size significantly affected ratings of the woman's social appeal. Thus, eating lightly appears to be socially advantageous for a woman, a phenomenon that may contribute to women's high rates of eating disorders.

Portions of this paper were presented at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, Boston, August 10–14, 1990.