Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ack! It's catching!

How could I resist this headline:
According to Yet Another Study, obesity can be contagious.

Obese friends, apparently, are a … ahem … big factor in your own ever-growing waistline. Family members? Not so much.

And according to the researchers, if your friends get thin, it's likely you will, as well. But since most of the people in this 30-year study got bigger, this particular indicator gets lumped in with the other thousand or so Reasons for the Obesity Epidemic.

What's interesting to me is that the numbers hold true even if your friend lives hundreds of miles away. So it isn't just a matter of hitting the Dairy Queen together after work, or winding up a shopping trip with your best bud over pizza and beer.

Now what? Do we all have to go get new, thin friends? Do you s'pose Calista and Courtney have room in their iPhones for me?


Edited to add: The complete story from the New England Journal of Medicine is available here, no subscription necessary.

1 comment:

Laura N said...

That NYTimes article is fascinating. But there's a lot in it I'm not so sure about-- a friend who lives hundreds of miles away can cause you to gain weight? family members have little influence? they're using BMI tables judge obese vs. overweight (some guy gains 5 pounds in 30 years and so now he's a positive result for this study)? I know I'm being simplistic, but those are my gut reactions.

For myself, I NEVER ate huge amounts of food with friends. Fat girls don't eat like fat girls in public, has been my experience. The eating that made me fat was in secret, with empty Ben & Jerry's cartons hidden at the bottom of my trash can. My friends had little influence on my eating habits--those are all within ME.

Which makes success that much sweeter, because of MY choices, MY changes, MY ownership of who I am. But, come to think of it, it was 2 friends who recommended LA Weight Loss to me. But that was a positive influence, so I guess that would never get studied. ;-)