(From Alicia Chang of the AP via Chron.com)
If your friends and family get fat, chances are you will too, researchers report in a startling new study that suggests obesity is "socially contagious" and can spread easily from person to person.
The large, federally funded study found that to be true even if your loved ones lived far away. Social ties seemed to play a surprisingly strong role, even more than genes are known to do.
"We were stunned to find that friends who are hundreds of miles away have just as much impact on a person's weight status as friends who are right next door," said co-author James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego.
Obesity is a global public health problem. About 1.5 billion adults worldwide are overweight, including more than 400 million who are obese. Two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese.
Of course, maybe the population is biased towards obese individuals because the silly BMI index has convinced us that we're all obese?
So what say you? Are you friends with people who share your body composition? Or no?