Okay, here’s the situation: you’re out to dinner with friends and it’s time to order. Your friends all end up ordering before you, each telling the waiter what they want. They’re all deliciously unhealthy, like a burger and fries. It’s finally your turn to order. Initially, you planned on getting a salad, but the stuff your friends ordered just sounds so good.
So, what do you do? Do you order a salad, or do you cave and get that burger? We’ve all been there, and it’s okay if you ordered the burger. But, recent studies show that what your friends eat can directly affect what you eat, and it’s not always in a good way.
The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a Harvard study that followed groups of friends for 32 years. Basically, the study found obesity to be a type of “communicable disease,” in that it can spread from person to person. Now, I’m not saying that obesity is something you can “catch,” like a bad cold or the flu, but being friends with an obese person can greatly increase your risk of becoming obese as well.
Looking for some statistics? Well, the study showed that an obese friend could increase the average person’s chances of becoming obese by 57 percent. Those chances more than double to 171 percent when a person’s best friend is obese.
So, the next time you’re out with friends, stick to your guns and order that salad. Or, if you don’t feel confident in your willpower, try to beat your friends to the punch and order first. Maybe you’ll even end up convincing them to get a salad, too.