I was digging into spaghetti Bolognese with my book group the other night when it hit me: My friendships have always revolved around food. As teens, my pals and I scooped chocolate frosting right from the can and ate raw cookie dough by the spoonful at sleepovers. In college, I bonded with my roomies over pizza and beer. As adults, my sporty girlfriends and I lived for our Saturday post-run brunches and our pre-race pasta dinners. Yikes -- were we food-obsessed?
"Eating is a social experience," says Evelyn Attia, MD, director of the Columbia Center for Eating Disorders at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. "For some of us, it's an activity we do with our friends." Unfortunately, group munching can cause the pounds to add up. When you dine with another person, you consume 35 percent more than you would alone, research shows.
Got a pal (or two) who pushes your all-you-can-eat button? Here's how to ID a chowhound and give your friendship --Read More »from Are Your Friends Making You Fat?