“Holiday Overeating”

Like going on a cruise, the holidays are known for overeating and weight gain. According to one study, the average person consumes over 7,000 calories on Christmas Day, more than triple the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommended daily caloric intake. So, what is one to do? First, try to avoid too many calorie-rich celebratory alcoholic drinks. They can be calorie block busters, along with seasonal food favorites. Still, many will eat/drink too much and regret it later, as heartburn, nausea, bloating and other types of discomfort kick in. Research suggests that eating habits are transmitted socially, and that social influence affects what and how much we eat. Social influence refers to the impact that one or more people have on the behavior of others, including food consumption. When we eat with others, we tend to conform to their ways. People eat differently whether in a group or alone, and food consumption depends on who is sitting round the table. If a fellow diner is eating a large amount, a person will probably eat more than they would alone.

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