The startling number of overweight individuals is currently one of the biggest health concerns in the United States. While we blame poor eating and exercise habits along with genetics for the expansion of America’s waistline, there could be more to the equation. It turns out that weight gain can actually be contagious.
We’re not saying that weight gain is a disease you can catch from coming into contact with someone who has it. But researchers from Loyola University found that people that hung out with overweight individuals were 56 percent more likely to have an increase in their BMI. This just makes us remember the last time we were lured into splitting a quart of cookie dough ice cream with a girlfriend.
Before you start dropping friends left and right, there’s also some good news. It also works the other way around too. Overweight individuals who reported they had lean friends were 40 percent more likely to lower their BMI. What’s more, you’re also 20 percent more likely to meet a weight loss goal when you workout with friends.
This research just proves how social influence plays a key role in weight loss and weight gain. So why not meet up with your friends for a hike (calorie free!) rather than dinner and drinks?
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