My opinion: The take home point of this article seems to be that if you are serving for yourself and someone else, you are more likely to put the same type and amount of food on both plates. For example, if you are getting food for yourself and someone who is overweight, you might like to give healthy food to your guest, but if the guest saw you eating unhealthy food, it might make him or her jealous. Therefore, you may want to choose healthy food for yourself. Similarly, if you choose unhealthy food for your guest, he or she might feel uncomfortable eating it unless everyone else is doing the same, so you would give yourself the unhealthy food.
I think this could be avoided by asking the guests to go get food for themselves, or, if one of them is unable to stand, they may be asked exactly what they want and how much of it. I know that at my family gatherings, if someone else is getting food, the guests usually ask for certain portion sizes. So does this study apply to all families? Can you think of any example of this effect? Feel free to comment.
Political Correctness Could Affect Holiday Weight Gain
Nov. 22, 2013 — It's that time of year when Americans start focusing on holiday celebrations, many of which will involve high-caloric food. As the festivities proceed, so do countless tips for keeping off extra weight this season.
Research from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business suggests you could be choosing unhealthy options to serve your guests because you don't want to offend someone else.
Marketing doctoral student Peggy Liu and Fuqua marketing professor Gavan Fitzsimons led a team that conducted multiple experiments into how people choose between healthy and unhealthy food options when they are picking for both themselves and another person.
"We wanted to understand if food choices would change if they were picking a dish or snack for themselves and an average-sized person versus themselves and an overweight person," Liu said.
Their findings, "Matching Choices to Avoid Offending Stigmatized Group Members," are published in the November 2013 issue of the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.