Is obesity socially contagious? A new research study published in the American Journal of Public Health by Arizona State University suggests that it is. Statistical findings show that as the weight of your friends and family rises, your weight is also likely to increase. The culprit? A combination of shared activities and social norms may be making you – and your friends – overweight.
If you are overweight or obese, weight loss surgery, such as JSAPA Weight Loss Surgery, is an important first step in your weight loss journey. A second critical step is correcting unhealthy lifestyle habits that you share with friends and family, which may be contributing to the spread of obesity within your social circle.
The Arizona State University study suggests that shared activities and attitudes, such as eating and exercise, can lead to weight gain or loss within a social circle. So what does this mean for your weight loss journey? While taking responsibility for your own behavior (and trading in unhealthy habits for healthy ones) is important, behavioral changes from your friends and family are also critical.
Start by encouraging your friends and family to get active with you. Instead of your usual weekend movie date, take advantage of Jacksonville’s sunshine and go for a hike or walk along the beach. If you and your spouse typically watch TV shows at night, turn off the TV and go for a brisk walk through the neighborhood after dinner. Invite your friends to join you at a fun exercise class, such as yoga or salsa lessons.
Rethink your eating habits and get your friends and family on board. When you go out to eat, resist the urge to split a plate of nachos or tear into a giant burger, and instead chose a restaurant with healthy menu options. Or invite your friends over for a potluck dinner filled with veggies and lean protein.
While only you hold the power to change your weight, making positive lifestyle choices with friends and family will make your weight loss journey easier and a lot more fun!