Sunday, November 07, 2010

Obesity is contagious

This is one study that will come as no shock to anyone who's tried to stay on a diet while hanging out with sugar-loving friends. They have found that having obese friends is likely to lead you into obesity as well.

The more obese friends you have, the more likely you are to become obese, a new study suggests. This confirms previous research that gaining weight may be socially contagious...

"We find that having four obese friends doubled people's chance of becoming obese compared to people with no obese friends," says Alison Hill, the study's lead author and a Harvard researcher.

About the rising incidence of obesity, she says, people have gotten better at gaining weight in recent years, but not at losing it.

David Rand, a Harvard research scientist who also worked on the study, says that the more obese people you have contact with, the more likely you are to become obese.
From my experience, the opposite is true as well - have a few friends working to lose weight or maintain their weight-loss makes you much more likely to be losing weight. Why? Simple - it's easier to exercise together, just as it's easier to pig out together. Whatever you make the center of your social calendar becomes central when you're craving human contact.

1 comment:

shadowmom1 said...

The same for drinking buddies, druggies, etc. We band together to enjoy the same things. But we are lucky if we have friends who are willing to allow us to stop doing those things while still remaining friends. It is not impossible to eat light while with friends, but it is hard if they keep trying to get you to eat those fries or desserts, or whatever is a trigger food for you.