Eating in groups: Do multiple social influences affect intake in a fast-food restaurant?

Emily Brindal, Carlene Wilson, Philip Mohr, Gary Wittert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated multiple social influences to determine whether they affect amount eaten at a fast-food environment. Using observational methods, data on meal duration, foods eaten and personal characteristics were collected for 157 McDonald's patrons. Analysis of covariance revealed that female diners ate less kilojoules when eating in mixed- versus same-sex groups (adjusted difference = 967 kJ, p < .05), while male diners eating in mixed-sex company ate more in groups compared to pairs (adjusted difference = 1067 kJ, p = .019). Influences to increase and restrict the amount eaten can operate simultaneously in an eating environment with gender a critical factor for consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-489
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 9 May 2015


  • fast food
  • groups
  • minimal eating
  • norms
  • social influence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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