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A New Study Suggests Your Friend’s Habits Can Make You Fat


Aired 4/19/09

Tom Fudge: If you have overweight friends, there's a good chance you're overweight too. In fact, if you have a close friend who is obese, you've got a good chance of being obese as well. Maybe there's nothing surprising about any of that. But a recent study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine , shows that the influence of personal relationships on obesity is very dramatic.

 he study found that a person's chances of becoming obese rose by 57 percent if a close friend became obese. The study may recommend a whole new strategy in treating obesity. It appears your friends have more to do with you developing a problem than your genes or even your family influence.


  • Dr. James Fowler , associate professor of Political Science at UCSD, and co-author of the study. 

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