Sarah Jio, Glamour magazine
I don't like the flavor of this story at all. In fact, I almost didn't even want to cover it. And yet, I think it's worth discussing, and despite the unsavory (even somewhat discriminatory) findings, I still think there is an important message here...
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Past research has hinted at a controversial hypothesis: If you're overweight, you're more likely to have overweight friends. This begs the question that a team of researchers at Loyola University tried to answer: Do obese friends contribute to weight gain?
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Here's what they found: College students were 40 percent more likely to lower their BMI over the school year if they reported having a few "lean" pals. But get this: The students who said they only had overweight friends increased their BMIs by 56 percent. Eeks!
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The takeaway, say the researchers, is that social influence plays a big part in whether we lose weight or don't--or gain more. And the key here, I think, is simply being aware of that. In other words, learning to not dive into the tray of French fries just because your pal is munching on them vs. excluding friends from your life because of weight reasons (obviously, right? But I just had to address that).
Thoughts on this? Do the findings make sense to you or sort of bother you? I know it's a touch topic that needs more study, for sure.
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