Can Become Fat Because of Friends, Couple; Study Shows

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Blame your friends if you are fat. That is the conclusion that been made by a team of researchers in The New England Journal of Medicine that obesity – like as influenza is communicable from a person to another – is a phenomenon that can spread quickly like a virus.

An obese person.
Obesity could lead to
many health problems.

Individual social network such as buddies at work or kindred at the home can influence excess body weight risk.

“A person chance to be obese grows more than half (57 percent) if he had obese friend, siblings (40 percent) and pair (37 percent),” said the co-authors, James Fowler from Harvard University and Nicholas Christakis from University of California, San Diego.

They added: “What appears to be happening is that a person becoming obese most likely causes a change of norms about what counts as an appropriate body size. People come to think that it is okay to be bigger since those around them are bigger, and this sensibility spreads.”

“This seminal study breaks important new ground in showing how social networks may amplify other factors and help account for the dramatic increase in obesity across the population” says Richard Suzman, Ph.D., director of the NIA’s Behavioral and Social Research Program.

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