We’ve all heard the adage, “You are what you eat.” New research shows that it’s not just what you eat that is an indicator of your weight, but also who you hang out with. As we begin to understand just how closely related weight is to peer pressure, it’s clear that your circle of friends could be influencing a lot more than you think.
A study appearing in the The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that obesity isn’t just a growing epidemic, it’s spreading among groups of people faster than the latest trend. The study authors found that the ripple effect of a weight gain was significant to three degrees of separation.
Researchers from Harvard and the University of California, San Diego, reviewed a database of 12,067 interconnected families and friends who had all participated in a major American heart study between 1971 and 2003.
According to their analysis, when a study participant’s friend became obese, that first participant had a 57% greater chance of becoming obese himself. In pairs of people in which each identified the other as a close friend, when one person became obese the other had a 171% greater chance of following suit. “You are what you eat isn’t the end of the story,” says study co-author James Fowler, a political scientist at UC San Diego. “You are what you and your friends eat.”
This brings up an interesting topic: How important is it to care what your friends think? We all want to believe that your family and friends would be supportive of you losing weight and becoming healthier, but in reality, that isn’t always the case. If there are people in your social circle who are heavy, it becomes uncomfortable for them to see you change.
Change isn’t easy.
You know that firsthand! The hardest part is taking charge of your health and deciding to make a lifestyle change. When your friends and family see that you will no longer eat the same foods they will, and are no longer comfortable in your old patterns, you may be surprised at the backlash you experience.
More than 50% of SlimGenics clients were referred by someone, so there is a good chance that your friends and family may follow your lead and start their own weight loss programs.
You are an inspiration!
Every day you stay on plan. Every dessert you pass up. Every unhealthy choice you decided against. These are the reasons why you are a Slimspiration™ whether you are at your goal weight yet or not…because you will. You have our endless support and weight loss articles to stay on top of your goals.
Remember that a few uncomfortable conversations with friends will result in a lifetime of health. It is worth it, and so are you!
If you’re not in our supportive system yet then visit your local SlimGenics Center for a FREE personalized consultation.