Being overweight and obese may be a social disease among children and adolescents. If your friends are overweight, they may be giving you 'permission' to over indulge, too, a new study has found.
Researchers paired together two groups of 23 overweight and 42 normal-weight children aged between nine and 15, and offered them healthy snacks such as carrots and grapes, and fast-food snacks such as crisps (potato chips) and biscuits (cookies).
Friends who were paired together ate more than someone paired with a stranger, but the biggest eaters were the overweight children who were paired together, whether or not they knew each other.
From this, researchers at the Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences conclude that fighting obesity begins at home, and that family and friends need to be part of the process.
Losing weight is not a lonely quest, after all.
(Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009; 90: 282-7).