First it was Swine Flu, then it was Bed Bugs, now it seems that there is another reason NOT to walk out the door. Two fairly recent studies report that “obesity can spread from person much like virus”.
Harvard Professor, Dr Nicholas A. Chrisakis who studies health and social networks, and his research partner, James H. Fowler, an associate professor at the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, reports that “fat may be contagious”. One of their key findings is “that a person’s chance of becoming obese increased 57% if that person had a friend who became obese.”
The New England Journal of Medicine published a similar study whereas they tracked over 12,000 people over 32 years and found that obesity can spread from person to person, much like a virus. “When a person gains weight, close friends tend to gain weight too”.
“You change your idea about what an acceptable body type is by looking at the people around you” said Dr. Chrisakis. These researchers go on to say that as more and more Americans are becoming obese , ”each person who becomes obese is likely to drag some friends along with them”.
Contrarily, befriending the thin and healthy did not help one to lose weight. There is no “skinny virus” out there.
This leads me to the question – what is one to do? Should we run out and buy rubber gloves and face masks lest we catch the “fat virus? Should we lock ourselves in our homes and cut off all communication with the outside world? Obviously no! We need to educate ourselves on what we can to do control our weight and the weight of our friends and family. This may be easier said than done but it’s a start.
Chow for now!
- Obesity in Children Linked to Common Cold Virus (usnews.com)
- Be careful or you might catch obesity, suggests new study (truthonmedecine.wordpress.com)
- “Study: 78% of Americans Are Obese” and related posts (weeklyworldnews.com)
- Is Obesity Contagious? (medicalinsurance.org)
- Obesity rates will reach 42 percent: study (reuters.com)