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Wow, researchers find that you can catch obesity from your friends sort of like the cold

Posted Nov 05 2010 10:49am

Health-Risks-of-Obesity

"It looks like obesity is becoming more infectious," said Alison Hill, a graduate student at Harvard and the Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

Before you starting writing any comments, please let us explain.

So no, you can't literally catch obesity like a virus, but the newest study just published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Computational Biology found that chances are if your friends are fat...you're also at a greater risk of becoming obese.

"We looked at the probability of becoming obese and what that was influenced by," Hill said."We found there is some baseline risk of becoming obese based on the friends you have," Hill added.

Perhaps what's even more startling is that the study concluded that obesity will continue to explode in America until a staggering 42 percent of the nation is considered obese.

According to Reuters :

"The prediction by a team of researchers at Harvard University contradicts other experts who say the nation's obesity rate has peaked at 34 percent of the U.S. population.

The finding is from the same group, led by Nicholas Christakis, that reported in 2007 that if someone's friend becomes obese, that person's chances of becoming obese increase by more than half.

They now think this same phenomenon is driving the obesity epidemic, which will climb slowly but steadily for the next 40 years."

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