Obesity is contagious among friends, study suggests | 11/05/10

  • digg
  • Delicious
  • Furl
  • reddit
  • blinklist
  • Technorati
  • stumbleupon

Read More: obesity contageous

Get VegSource Alerts Get VegSource Alerts

First Name


Email This Story to a Friend

The more obese friends you have, the more likely you are to become obese, a new study suggests. This confirms previous research that gaining weight may be socially contagious.

The research also shows that if nothing changes significantly in the environment and culture in the USA, about 42% of adults will be obese in about 40 years and then the obesity rate will level off.

About a third of Americans are obese -- that is, roughly 30 or more pounds over a healthy weight. Those extra pounds increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and many types of cancer.

After decades of skyrocketing growth in obesity, some experts have suggested that the rate may be leveling off. But Harvard researchers, in an effort to come up with a best-case scenario for the obesity epidemic, came to the 42% projection by applying an infectious-disease mathematical model to data from the Framingham Heart Study.

Their findings are reported online in the journal PLoS Computational Biology.

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

Read the whole story here.


1 Comment | Leave a comment


There is much wisdom in this article. In our everyday work lives we have our work spouse, dependant children, and casual neighbors. We tend to group and form family units.
Unfortunately misery loves company and everyone wants to “fit in”. I was swayed away from my first couple attempts of vegan lifestyle change by my larger friends. They would bring me fries, burgers and say things like you need to eat more your starting to look unhealthy. The fact of the matter was I was beginning to lose weight. It didn’t matter I would give in and before you know it… I was dipping cheese burgers into Styrofoam cups filled with gravy. Birds of a feather tend to flock together and get fatter.

Leave a comment