Your Friends Might Be Helping You Stay Overweight

Could your nearest and dearest be contributing to your extra pounds? Four new papers in the Lancet warn that, if America’s waistlines continue to expand, 50 percent of our population will be obese by the year 2030. Some research suggests that we’ve become more comfortable being overweight and that being overweight is seen as “normal,” while being of an ideal weight may appear to be “underweight.”

A new survey of 1,000 Americans by Russell Research, commissioned by Pollock Communications, showed only 52 percent of Americans believe they are overweight. This is interesting, considering 67 percent of Americans are overweight or obese, according to national surveys.

It seems like we could use a reality check. This skewed vision of body weight and diet is just one of the many factors contributing to the nation’s growing obesity epidemic. As the population has become more “numb” to higher body weights, the person who is normal weight actually appears to be out of place rather than the opposite. In essence, overweight has become the new norm.

Harvard Medical School researchers have found there is a 57 percent greater chance you will become obese if you have a close friend who is overweight. Researchers at Arizona State University say if there is someone in your social circle who is obese, it can make it easier to accept your weight, even if it’s more than you’d like.

The first step to avoiding this negative peer pressure is by recognizing it. Are you carrying around extra weight that you’d like to lose, but your friends’ poor eating habits and social engagements aren’t conducive to weight loss? Are you meeting for happy hours, eating out for lunch, bonding over cocktails?

Kim Christopher, Program Director for SlimGenics Weight Control Centers, says there are strategies to gaining support from your inner circle. “Let your friends and family know you need their support in eating healthier and avoiding empty calories,” Kim says. “You might be surprised that once the pounds start to drop, they ask to join you in your weight loss journey.”

Be a leader, and take the next step to achieving a healthy weight by finding out how much you need to lose and putting together a plan to get there. SlimGenics understands that losing weight requires courage, discipline and perseverance. A support system is essential, too. Losing weight is hard to do alone.

That’s why SlimGenics gives you the strategies and tools you need along with the assistance of trained, professional weight loss counselors. They take the journey with you. You have someone at your side during the good days and the bad days. Someone who won’t give up on you.

Put yourself first and SlimGenics will support you every step of the way. Before you know it, you’ll look and feel so good, your friends will be signing up to get their own personalized plans for weight loss.

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