No. Really? When our friends get fat, we get fat.
Two distinguished researchers spent five years looking at the 5,000+ participants of the Framingham Heart Study (begun in 1948 and continued for two generations) to see what the effects of the relationships among the participants was. Here's their stunning discovery:
Obesity spreads more by association than genes.
"In 1948 fewer than 10% of Framingham residents were obese. By 1985, 18% were, and today about 40% are. What changed? Social norms of diet and physical appearance." Wired, Oct 2009By studying the Framingham folks as an interconnected network rather than a mass of individuals, the two researchers made this intriguing discovery:
Obesity spread like a virus. Weight gain had a stunning infection rate. If one person become obese, the likelihood that his friend would follow suit increased by 171 percent.And, your friends are more predictive of your size than your spouse:
"Having an obese spouse raised the risk of becoming obese by 37 percent. If a friend became obese, the risk skyrocketed by 171 percent."Moral: hang out with friends who are or are getting to the size you want to be. ER Fat Burn club anyone?
It works for happiness, too, they say.