Apparently, how your friends behave in the eating "arena" has more of an impact on you than family, genes, or prior disposition or habits. In fact, even friends you don't see often, if they are still "close" to you emotionally can impact your own weight. In a nutshell, if your best friend puts on lots of weight over the years, you are more likely to do the same, than if she stays slim.
The study's author, a Harvard professor, points out that in a sense, we've known this all along. "Who you tend to hang out with, weight-wise, is more important than who your next-door-neighbor is." Likewise, "When overweight or obesity becomes normal in a given social circle, people may be more likely to become obese themselves."
The good news? (There is good news!) It works both ways. The healthier the people you hang with, the healthier you are likely to try and be yourself. This is very true for Jeanine, as being a member of the Swimsuit Club helps her to stay motivated to swim, and eventually, even to take much better care of herself. Later posts will deal with the self-image issue, and how even overweight women have lots of power in deciding how they want the world to see them, whether they lose weight or not.
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(original article by
Amanda Gardner called "Family, Friends, May 'Spread' Obesity
as seen in DivineEloquence Magazine, Aug/Sept Issue)