Rejoice to those who want to lose weight! There seems to be an easier way to shed off those extra pounds – by having thinner friends.
A study indicated that having slim friends does make you lose some weight which is tied to a previous study
which showed that when your friends become obese, you will also have a better chance of getting obese.
In the new study
, participants were questioned whether they want to gain weight, lose weight, or stay at the same weight. They were then asked to give details of four people who they spent the most time with and rate them as heavier, thinner, or having the same weight as they do.
After a year, results showed that those who spent the most time with heavier friends were less likely to lose weight compared to those who added at least one thinner friend to their social network.
As mentioned, “adding a thinner friend was linked with a decrease in body mass index (BMI) of 0.08, which translates to about a 0.6-lb. (0.3 kilograms) reduction in weight for a person who is 5 foot 10 inches (178 centimeters) tall.”
The study also found that “each additional 100 social interactions with a thinner person were linked with a 0.06-lb. (0.03 kg) weight loss, while each 100 interactions with a heavier person were linked with a 0.1-lb. (0.04 kg) increase in weight.”
However, this shouldn’t be your reason to stay away from your heavier friends. The study still had limitations such as it is still unclear whether those who wanted to lose some weight gained heavier friends since they entered a weight-loss group.
Researcher and Baylor University Assistant Professor of Sociology Matthew Andersson said
, “What we don't know is what respondents are doing with their social contacts. They might be going out to eat. They might be going to the gym. … We just don't know."
Future studies on this aspect are still needed.