Is obesity contagious....?
USA Today has reported that "the more obese friends you have, the more likely to become obese" yourself.
"This confirms previous research that gaining weight may be socially contagious. The research also shows that if nothing changes significantly in the environment and culture in the USA, about 42% of adults will be obese in about 40 years and then the obesity rate will level off," says an article written by Nanci Hellmich.
Hellmich writes that about a third of Americans are overweight and weigh about 30 pounds more than what is considered healthy.
Why is that important?
"Those extra pounds increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and many types of cancer," Hellmich writes. She quotes a Harvard researcher as saying it might be in your best interest to help your friends lose weight.
Pulse on Health
By Jeff Hansel, member Association of Health Care Journalists
Health Reporter for the Post-Bulletin newspaper, 18 1st Ave. S.E. in Rochester, Minnesota 55904
Twitter Hansel's Pulse: @Jeff Hansel