Family, friends can influence weight and mood, from Harvard Men's Health Watch

Social interactions have ripple effects on weight and mood that extend far beyond household and family units, reports the December 2011 issue of the Harvard Men's Health Watch. Weight: Two of every three Americans are overweight or obese. There are many explanations for our expanding waistlines, starting with lack of exercise and excessively large portions of calorie-dense prepared and processed foods. But an interesting study suggests that social interactions may also play a role. Researchers from Harvard and the University of California investigated 12,067 people who had been evaluated medically on multiple occasions from 1971 to 2003 as part of the Framingham Heart Study. They found that if one sibling became obese during the study, the chance that another sibling would become obese increased by 40%.
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