Obesity found to be ‘contagious’
Post by Kelly Swift
on 09 May 2011 in Health & Wellbeing
Research has found that obesity could be contagious and that those with fat friends are likely to become or remain obese.
Scientists from the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University believe this could spell the end for friendships between fat women and thin women. 101 women from Phoenix, Arizona, were interviewed as part of the research, along with 812 of their friends and relatives. Researchers found that the higher the average Body Mass Index of each woman’s social circle, the more likely she was to be overweight herself.
Alarmingly, 25.4 per cent of women said they would prefer to suffer from severe depression than be fat, while 14.5 per cent said they would rather be completely blind.
Daniel Hruschka, lead author of the research paper, said: “You might learn what is an acceptable body size from your friends and then change your diet and exercise to try and achieve that.
“Or, you might not agree with what your friends or family members think, but still feel pressure from them to achieve some ideal body size. Finally, you may form an idea of appropriate body size by simply observing your friends' bodies, which in turn changes your eating and exercise habits."