Special Reports

Obesity: Scientists Say That Relationships Greatly Affect Weight And Health [Video]


Whether people like it or not, the relationships they allow to form in their lives greatly affect their weight and health. This has been proven by scientists from Harvard University issuing a warning how one should be careful in choosing their friends.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, one-third of adults in the United States are obese - that's one in three adults. While obesity can be caused by different factors, a study conducted a team of researchers from Harvard, said that the closest relationships people have can greatly affect their weight and health.

According to Walter Willett, one of the researchers and a Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, a person who is going on a diet might find himself failing with his weight loss plans because of friends and families. Willett also added that a person whose close friend is obese has a 57 percent chance to become obese as well and a 37 percent more likely to become overweight if their spouse is overweight. Those who have a sibling with severe weight problems have a 40 percent likelihood of becoming overweight themselves.

Another study from the Harvard Medical School seemed to agree with Willett's team saying that social networks greatly affected the spread of obesity over the last 32 years in America. The percentage presented in the study revealed that obesity has gone from 23 percent to 31 percent over that period of time - all thanks to social media.

Social networks seemed to have removed the stigma of obesity said the study. As people get exposed to different types of people in their social network, so are their perception of many other things including obesity.

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