Obesity is contagious

Your friends are making you fat.

MIT and Harvard researchers found that people with fat friends increased their own risk of obesity by 50 percent.  It doesn’t stop their either. The more fat friends you have the higher the possibility of becoming obese (0.5 % per year for every obese friend).

Now before we get to far let me explain how these trends come about. Obesity is not contagious like “pink eye” is or the “flu”. Your fat friends aren’t making your metabolism slower of weakening your thyroid. People become fat or obese because of poor decision making (may also be due to lack of education regarding nutrition). Being surrounded by those who fail to make healthy decisions will effect you in the social environment. I think it is similar to hanging out with an alcoholic. Your chances of drinking more because you are social with those who drink often will increase. Same with eating.

MIT and Harvard are stating their findings. They are not telling you to dump your overweight friends. Just be aware of your decision making and notice how they might change when spending time with them. Look at it as a chance to be responsible and make a positive impact on them. Lead by example.

Are you overweight? Look at how you may be impacting your friends. It is never your intention to make your friends obese but use this information as motivation to lose weight.

(PLoS One, November 4, 2010)


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