Medical Breakthroughs Reported by Click here to go to the homepage.
Be the First to Know. Click here to subscribe FREE!
Search Reports: Use quotation marks around your multi-word search terms in the box below to perform search of
Advances in health and medicine.Use " marks around search terms
What's New
News Flash
  Alternative Health
Asthma & Allergies
Breast Cancer
Cardiovascular Health
Children's Health
Dental Health
Fertility & Pregnancy
Men's Health
Mental Health
Multiple Sclerosis
Neurological Disorders
Nutrition & Wellness
Pet Health
Seniors' Health
Sports Medicine
Women's Health
Advances in health and medicine.
Click here to sign up for Medical Alerts!
Click below to access other news from Ivanhoe Broadcast News.
  Click here to get Ivanhoe's Medical Headline RSS feed Click here to listen to Ivanhoe's Medical Podcasts
Useful Links
Play It Again, Please
E-Mail a Friend
Order Books Online
Inside Science
Smart Woman
Advances in health and medicine.
Smart Woman Home
Click here to read the story
Click here to read the story
Click here to read the story
Smart Woman Home
Advances in health and medicine.
Click below to learn about Ivanhoe.
About Us
Contact Us
Ivanhoe FAQ
Our TV Partners
Travel Calendar
Advances in health and medicine.
Ivanhoe celebrates 20 years of medical news reporting reaching nearly 80 million TV households each week. Click here to learn more...
Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
Children's Health Channel
Reported February 19, 2007

Kids in Packs Eat More

By Vivian Richardson, Ivanhoe Health Correspondent

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- What do rats, chickens and children have in common? Apparently, they may all be hardwired by nature to eat more when in large groups.

Researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor compared how kids between ages 2 and 6 ate snacks when in groups of three and groups of nine. Children in larger groups starting eating sooner and more quickly than children in smaller groups.

"When they sit down at the table, they don't dilly-dally; they start eating right away," researcher Julie Lumeng, M.D., told Ivanhoe. When snack time lasted more than 11 minutes, children in the larger groups at 30 percent more food than children in the smaller groups.

Dr. Lumeng explained it might be an instinctual reaction for young children to eat more food faster when stimulated by the presence of other children. Researchers have seen the same behavior in animals. "People hypothesize if you're an animal and you're eating your food with a bunch of other animals around you, you may be hardwired to eat faster and be a little more frenzied in your eating because you don't want the other animals to get your food," she said. The children included in this study came from middle class families, and there was more than enough food on the table, so hunger or competition doesn't really explain the behavior, Dr. Lumeng said.

Previous studies have also shown adults eat more when in large groups. Dr. Lumeng said this behavior has more to do with socializing than animal instinct. "Because you're sitting chatting with other people, you're sitting there at the table where the food is longer, and basically you nibble more," she said. In her study, however, Dr. Lumeng reported children actually socialized less when in larger groups.

"What I think this study points out is that eating behavior is entrenched in a lot of biologically driven predispositions. Your eating behavior is not totally under your own control," Dr. Lumeng said. The results of this study may be something to consider, as leaders look for ways to reduce childhood obesity, though Dr. Lumeng explained the effect of eating in large groups cannot be conclusively linked to obesity.

This article was reported by, which offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, click on: /newsalert/.

SOURCE: Ivanhoe interview with Julie Lumeng, M.D.; Archives of Disease in Childhood, published online Feb. 14, 2007

Related Articles in Latest Medical News:

[ Back to Children's Health Channel Home ]

Stay up to date on Children's Health. We can notify you every time there is a medical breakthrough. Click here to sign up.
Most Recent Videos

Follow Us On:

Click here to go to Ivanhoe's Twitter page Click here to go to Ivanhoe's Facebook page Click here to go to Ivanhoe's YouTube page

Laughter is the Best Medicine! To post a joke or saying, click here!

Home | What's New | News Flash | Search/Latest Medical News | E-Mail Medical Alerts!
Ivanhoe FAQ | Privacy Policy | Our TV Partners | Awards | Useful Links | Play It Again, Please
RSS Feeds | Advertising/Sponsorships | Content Syndication | Reprints

Advances in health and medicine.
Copyright © 2016 Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc.
2745 West Fairbanks Avenue
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 740-0789

P.O. Box 865
Orlando, Florida 32802

Premium Content in Latest Medical News Denotes Premium Content in Latest Medical News