Unlike most other animals on the planet, the amount of food that human beings consume is dependant on factors other than actual hunger. Most Americans today ate more calories in one meal than they will for entire days in other months. Researchers have been trying to understand environmental factors that can influence how much/little we eat, and one of the newer elements is the people we eat with.

“Eating occurs within what we have termed a zone of biological indifference, in which the individual is neither genuinely hungry nor genuinely sated,” says psychology professor Peter Herman.

A “zone of biological indifference”? Need to chew on that tidbit for awhile. Herman says we are rudderless when we are eating, paying more attention to our companions than we are to what we are eating, and thus we eat more than we really need.

With the abundance of food in the US and other Western countries, and the fact that most people are able to afford to feed themselves, people have the luxury to eat more than they need and more often than they need. Becomming more in tune with these types of influences and even slightly altering our eating behavior can be major factors in becomming more physically healthy.