Researchers at McMaster University released a study this week claiming that for women—though not for men—the gender of a dining companion can have a major effect on the amount of calories she consumes. Meredith Young, in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, found that women eat less when dining in the company of men, and even less when dining in groups of women. Was Young surprised by these findings? Not at all. "Small food portions signal attractiveness, and women conform, whether consciously or unconsciously, to small meals in order to be seen as more attractive," she said, citing the diet industry and ads featuring unrealistically thin models as arbiters of femininity and attractiveness. Men, on the other hand, appeared to be unaffected by either the gender of their dining partners or the number of people in the group.