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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Do Our Friends Effect Our Weight?

Can your social ties affect your weight? Some new research indicates that peers can effect your weight.

Tell us a little bit more about the new research that was just released.
• A study funded by the National Institute on Aging, utilizing over 12,000 participants showed that thinness and obesity are socially contagious. (study collection of data 32 years- multigenerational)
• If a person slims down, the people around them may also lose weight
• There is an acceptable norm for weight and people tend to share the same eating and exercise habits.

This is an interesting study. What else did they learn from the study?
• Acceptance: If someone you care about gains weight, your notion of an acceptable body weight may change and you may decide it is okay to go up in weight.
• Gain: When people become obese, the risk of their closest friends becoming obese over the next 2-4 years increases by 171%. Spouses chances are up by 37%
• Loss: When people lose shed pounds, it has a ripple effect and increases similar weight loss in friends, siblings and spouse.
• Gender: Men’s weight effect their male friends and siblings and female weight changes tend to effect their girlfriends or sisters more than brothers or guy friends. Men look to men to vise versa.

If we want to create a change in our lives, what are some healthy tips for those wanting to create a healthier lifestyle

• Exercise 3-5 times a week and include cardiovascular workouts
• Cut portion size and eat a little more often
• Drink plenty of liquids, limit sugars & white flours, and increase your fruits and vegetables.
• Lose weight slowly & focus on realistic goals, and focus on creating a healthier you!

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