Cornell University scientific study

Cornell University did a study with a mock wing eating contest to determine the relationship between social eating and overeating.

For the study published in Frontiers in Nutrition, researchers recruited college aged students of similar weight to participate in either a competitive chicken wing eating challenge with cheering spectators, or a competitive chicken wing eating challenge with no spectators. The prize for eating the most wings was a worthless plastic medal, but competitors still ate about 4 times more food than normal. Men who ate in front of spectators ate 30% more than those without spectators and described the experience as challenging, cool and exhilarating. Women, on the other hand, ate less with spectators than without them and described the experience as slightly embarrassing.

update has information about a follow-up study:

To better understand these results, researchers conducted a follow-up study, asking 93 college students to rate male and female competitive eaters based on their perception of their intelligence, attractiveness, romance, health and strength. They were also asked to suggest how many children a (male or female) competitive eater might have by the age of 50. After analyzing the data, the study’s authors found that “women do not appear to be favorably impressed by the feats of overeating.” Men, on the other hand, “positively perceived competitive-eating males to be both stronger and having more offspring compared to female competitive eaters.”

Comments (2)


  1. ErikTheElectric said (Registered January 11, 2015)

    December 5, 2016 @ 2:27 pm


    Another completely useful study..

  2. Andrew Renfrow said (Registered October 3, 2016)

    December 5, 2016 @ 4:28 pm

    I second that.

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