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Are Eating Habits Contagious?

Are Eating Habits Contagious?

by Holly Foreman - July 22, 2014

Food plays a role in every aspect of our lives. Celebrations, holidays and social gatherings always involve food! Not to mention, we use food to express and suppress our emotions.

Think about it…

Celebrations – birthdays, weddings, showers, etc.

Holidays – the first thing discussed is who is bringing what dish.

Social gatherings – brunches, dinner parties, wine tastings, cookouts, and the list goes on!

And to make matters worse, eating habits are contagious! Yes, we subconsciously mimic others when it comes to eating. And we are more likely to overeat in a social setting because we are dining distracted.

So, do our social connections influence our food choices?

Back in my college days, I was known by friends and roommates as the ice cream queen. I would always have pints of ice cream stocked in the freezer. While I would not eat the whole pint in one sitting, I would eat out of a pint (somewhat) regularly.

I share this with all of you because I was THAT friend. I was THAT friend influencing others to eat ice cream with me so I wasn’t eating it alone. I was THAT friend “infecting” others with my ice cream eating habits.

Just because behaviors can be contagious, doesn’t mean only negative habits infect others. Positive behaviors can be contagious as well.

Think about the people around you and take a friendventory.

Assess the people in your life and see how they are “infecting” you. Then it’s only fair to assess yourself and see how you are “infecting” others.

Social support is essential to health and developing healthy habits… Be the one that encourages healthy habits for people around you. Make smarter, healthier choices when you are with others and when you are alone.

I don’t know about you, but my goal is to be more mindful of my food choices, especially in social situations.

I would rather eat to live than live to eat!


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