How Your Friends Influence Your Weight
Do you know that friends can affect your eating habits? Yes, they do influence your fitness/weight loss journey. Your eating habits would be similar to those with whom you hang out with. It is but natural!
Research has been done in this line and many things have been found out. It has been found that you will subconsciously imitate your friends’ eating habits. This effect is more at dinner than other meals of the day. Your eating habits get influenced and you don’t know that it is happening. Weird but true!
Research also says that if you get support from your pals, you can lose more weight. It would be a good idea to workout with your bestie. Your close pals can actually help you reach your fitness goal. But the reverse is also true! If your friends have unhealthy eating habits, you too will land up eating junk.
What the stats have to say?
Your chances of becoming obese increase by 57% if your friend gets obese! The chances of obesity increase by 71% if the friends are of the same gender. One interesting fact is that the weight of friend has more effect on a person than the weight of a spouse. Married couples have been studied and it has been found that a person has 37% more chances to become obese if the husband or wife has become obese.
Another study one by the Arizona State University has delved deeper and tested 3 ways in which friends can influence another friend’s body size.
The pathways are:
Collaboration– It is a known fact that as time passes and as you get closer to a person, you will share his/her ideas. When it comes to weight, you might be in consensus about the proper body size. You might start changing your diet and workout to attain that body size. In a nut shell, you might be eating more to look like your over-weight friend or eat less to look like your skinny friend.
Peer pressure– This is most often the reason why teenagers behave in a certain way when it comes to the way they look (body size). The same goes for adults, they too want to look like their friends. If your friends are in good shape you too start dieting and exercising to look like them.
Monkey see, monkey do– You repeat what your friends do without giving it a thought or discussing about the right body weight. In short, you would behave like a copy cat :P. For instance, when you are at the restaurant with your friends and it is time for dessert, your friends just say that they don’t want a dessert, your answer is also the same in spite of the fact that you were craving for ice cream.
The study seems to conclude that:
1) If you have overweight people around you, say, your family, colleagues or friends, there are more chances of you being heavier too. This is because you are subconsciously copying their eating habits.
2) The link between weights of two people is stronger if their relationships are stronger.
3) People of the same body size are together.
Keeping your family healthy
It is advisable that to help children be healthy, adults should include fitness related activity in their lives. They should be aware of the fact that children are mirroring them. Adults should eat healthy and clean to set an example for their kids.
Choosing a friend circle
If you happen to befriend leaner individuals you might start eating like them and lose a few kilos. Even if they don’t bully you, you might automatically feel like an odd one out and resort to healthy habits. This doesn’t mean that you should get rid of your over-weight friends. Try developing healthy eating and exercising habits and your ‘not-so-lean’ friends might follow suit 🙂
Have your friends to influenced your weight? Do share your experiences with us!
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