Sex Roles

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 335-344

First online:

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

  • Susan A. BasowAffiliated withPsychology Department, Lafayette College
  • , Diane KobrynowiczAffiliated withPsychology Department, Lafayette College

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


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.