What you eat is influenced by the food choices of people you dine with

Students buying lunch at a university cafeteria

Peter D Noyce/Alamy

Who you choose to eat with influences what you decide to eat, according to a study of 38 million food purchases at a university campus over eight years.

Kristina Gligorić at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and her colleagues tracked purchases made on campus using smart cards. The team tracked the eating habits of 39,000 anonymised students and staff from 2010 to 2018. On average, people’s purchases were tracked for 578 days and they visited shops, cafes, restaurants and vending machines 188 times.

Of the 39,000 …

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