facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Study: Obese friends not the best to have

Nov. 5, 2010 at 1:16 PM   |   Comments

| License Photo
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Gaining weight may be socially contagious and the more obese friends you have the more likely you are to become obese, a study suggests.

Health experts say about a third of Americans are obese and at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and many types of cancer, USA Today reported.

Harvard scientists studying the obesity epidemic have applied an infectious-disease mathematical model to data from recent obesity studies.

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

The more obese people you come in contact with, the greater the chance of your becoming obese, Harvard researcher David Rand says.

Researchers say they aren't sure why this is so, but it may be that if you have many acquaintances with unhealthy eating habits, you wind up with similar eating habits, Rand says.

Other lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity have a huge impact on weight, Rand says, but the lesson of this research is "it's in your best interest to help your friends lose weight."

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Android phones to join iPhone in saying no to the police Android phones to join iPhone in saying no to the police
2
Report: Facebook Messenger app is loaded with spyware Report: Facebook Messenger app is loaded with spyware
3
Next-generation space suits will be like second skin Next-generation space suits will be like second skin
4
Ship sunk off coast of Texas to create artificial reef Ship sunk off coast of Texas to create artificial reef
5
2014 summer was hottest on record, NOAA says 2014 summer was hottest on record, NOAA says
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback