Trainers have known for some time that if participants trying to lose weight or improve their level of fitness have the support of family and friends, the goal is a little easier to attain. Research from Christakis and Fowler suggest that running around with obese friends can increase one's chance of becoming obese as well. Martina M. Cartwright said it best in How Friends Influence Weight. “He who roams with paunchy friends becomes plump or he who roams with wolves learns to howl”.
Christakis and Fowler followed 12,067 participants from the Farmington Heart Study for 32 years. You might be interested in some of the results of their study.
• A person’s chance of becoming obese was 57% greater if the friend became obese.
• The chances increased 71% if the friends were same sex.
• All male friendships had a whopping 100% chance of becoming obese while all female frinedships had a 38% chance.
It appears that social modeling plays a significant role in the spread of obesity amoung friends. Remember I wrote a long time back that we all inspire people every day even without knowing it. Anyway you look at it, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
You are going to love part II
Resource: IDEA Fitness Journal February 2012