All of us tend to over-eat during the festive season, but women can face enormous social pressure when they reach for the extra serving. But it's not always down to greed, it could be more to do with evolution and the time of the month.
Women are biologically wired to eat more in preparation for pregnancy, and yet this natural process is often viewed negatively, and pushes some women into adopting life-threatening eating disorders, such as bulimia or anorexia.
The monthly fluctuations in hormones also cause women to eat more and indulge in 'emotional eating'. "In our culture, we tend to view any increased eating by a woman as a negative thing, even when it is biologically and evolutionarily driven", says Kelly Klump, a professor at Michigan State University.
(Source: International Journal of Eating Disorders, 2014; doi: 10.1002/eat.22326)