Will you blame your friends if you become obese ?

James Fowler from Harvard University and Nicholas Christakis from the University of California, San Diego seem to suggest so. They co-authored the report which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine recently, basing on a 32-year (between 1971 and 2003) closely study of a network of 12,067 friends and relatives. 

They concluded in their study that obesity is a socially contagious phenomenon because “areas of the brain that correspond to actions such as eating food may be stimulated if these actions are observed by others“. Thus, weight gain in one person apparently influenced weight gain in others:- 

  1. a person’s chances of becoming obese increase by 57 percent if that person has a friend who is obese.
  2. Same-sex friends and siblings had more influence on the subject’s weight gain than those of the opposite sex.
  3. If a spouse became obese, the likelihood that the other spouse would become obese increased by 37 percent.

Is that why more than one third of the US population is overweight while 60 million US adults are obese? 

Well, one of the reasons – blame it on your friends !

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