Friends may undermine weight-loss efforts, study says


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos





Efforts to lose weight may fail because of an important mismatch between the social contacts created by people who want to lose weight and the factors that actually achieve weight, according to a Yale study.

According to the researchers, people hoping to lose weight interacted more frequently and were more likely to have social ties with heavier people while lessening their interactions and decreasing their ties with thinner people.

Published online in the journal Obesity, the study evaluated how an individual’s desire to lose weight is associated with changes in social contact with others perceived to be either thinner or heavier.

“We want to gain a closer understanding of how social networks shape the desire to lose weight in the first place,” said Matthew A. Andersson, postdoctoral associate at the Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course in Yale’s Department of Sociology. “We were surprised to find that individuals who desire to lose weight may make social network changes that undercut their weight loss goals.”

The researchers suggest that a person who needs to lose weight may have heavier friends because they are more likely to experience weight discrimination and stigma. They may manage this stigma by selecting similarly heavy peers.

But these network changes also tend to diminish weight loss. These findings may help explain unsuccessful weight loss attempts in the population.

“By publishing this study, we are contributing to knowledge about how social networks relate to body mass. Future research should track actual peer body mass to gain more insight into what we found in this study. With a fuller understanding of how social networks relate to weight loss, interventions may better address any interpersonal dynamics occurring outside clinical settings,” said Andersson.

Source: Yale University: news.yale.edu



Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments

Pool Rules



MUST READ NEWS

'Good Samaritan' law needed for alcohol overdoses too
Immunity from prosecution for those reporting a drug overdose is the law in 40 states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Simply stated, if you act in good faith in calling...
Read more »

Share the Harvest brings community together in support of food pantry
By Frances Ruth Harris
— The 11th annual Share the Harvest Dinner on Sept. 17 drew a hungry and giving crowd to St. Patrick's...

Read more »
Image

(No heading)

Read more »
Image

Remembering John Filone, an extraordinary host
By Ginny Privitar
— The Milford community is mourning the passing of John Filone, one of three brothers who purchased the Mount...

Read more »
Image

VIDEOS



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Newspapers



MOST COMMENTED



Weather in Milford, PA