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August 10, 2008

Fat Friends Can Make You Fat?

I have a number of friends that are a little less than healthy. They are overweight and center most social events around food. I don’t see them that often because I want to keep my weight down and not constantly socialize with food. From the time that I stopped hanging out with my chubbier friends so much, I have lost twenty pounds.

A new study says that having fat friends could fatten you up as well. There is evidence that fat friends can subconsciously influence thinner friends to gain weight. A study that looked at data on 27,000 people across Europe showed some interesting results. It seems that if all of the people around you are fat you are more likely to be fat. The suggestion is that choices that others make around us regarding jobs, food and clothes influence what we decided.

Some experts say that there are other reasons why people are eating more calories. But I have to say, people do often do what their counterparts are doing. A perfect example of this is a dinner date I had with a friend. She wanted to go to a huge chain restaurant that had these calorie laden fajitas. I reluctantly said I would go but I looked online and saw that a salad and cup of chicken noodle soup would keep me within my daily fat and calorie limit. My friend, who had been adamant about going to this particular restaurant for the fajitas, copied my order exactly.

Calorie consumption has increased overall and if you are with people that further increase their calories, it makes it so much easier to make the wrong food choices. Many people end up having much more food when they are with friends in a social setting, than they do when they are dining alone.

Another interesting fact about the obesity epidemic is that poorer people are generally fatter than rich people. While there is a lot of low cost, high fat food readily available, if people consumed less food, they would be able to eat healthier choices for the same amount of money. For example. When you get one of those extra value meals from McDonald’s, you are spending around the same amount of money you would if you went to the grocery store. You could get a bag of greens, lean turkey, whole grain bread and a jug of juice for the same amount of money you will spend buying value meals a couple of times a week. If you eat proper portions, you will have the food for a longer amount of time, making it cheaper than fast food. Not to mention, the health benefits if eating healthy meals is well worth any extra cost. If you need to cut cost, get rid of some services on your cell phone or the premium cable stations.

The moral of the story is birds of a feather do really flock together. If all of your friends are sedentary overeaters with weight problems, you are more likely to be that as well.

If you are having issues with your weight you may want to visit the following helpful sites:

Cautionary Note: Please visit your doctor for his/her advise on weight loss. Do not try anything unless you have consulted with a professional. Everyone is unique. What works for one may not work for the other. Good luck!

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