If your friends and family get fat, chances are you will too, researchers report in a startling new study that suggests obesity is “socially contagious” and can spread easily from person to person.
The large, federally funded study found that to be true even if your loved ones lived far away. Social ties seemed to play a surprisingly strong role, even more than genes are known to do.
“We were stunned to find that friends who are hundreds of miles away have just as much impact on a person’s weight status as friends who are right next door,” said co-author James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego.
Obesity experts not involved in the research said the results back up what they have suspected all along – that people look toward one another for what is an acceptable weight.
“If you’re just a little bit heavy and everyone around you is quite heavier, you will feel good when you look in a mirror,” said Dr. David Katz, director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center.
This is an interesting bit:
Despite their findings, the researchers said people should not sever their relationships.
“There is a ton of research that suggest that having more friends makes you healthier,” Fowler said. “So the last thing that you want to do is get rid of any of your friends.”
Well now wait a minute there. If these people were drunks or drug addicts, the first thing they’d be told is to stop associating with other drunks and druggies. Yet here they are not being told that.
Something is screwy here.
Previously in this blog: