Startling but true. This study, published in the
England Journal of Medicine
, looked at friends, siblings
and spouses and found that all relationships showed a
If one sibling becomes obese, the odds that
the other will increases by 40 percent.
If one spouse becomes obese, the likelihood
that the other spouse will increases by
There is good news, though – if you have a close friend
who sheds a few pounds, the chances are good that
you will, too.
Does this mean you should ditch friends
with unhealthy habits?
You could find some healthier role models – not to
replace friends, but to grow your circle and bring
healthier influences into your life. Join a walking or
running club – or take a fitness or healthy cooking
class. Then, you’ll become the one to reverse
unhealthy trends among your social group.
HAP member Noor Taha did exactly that. She kicked
off the new year by attending a
HAP Weight Wise
event with Zonya Foco, R.D. “It was exactly
what I was looking for,” Noor reflects. “The philosophy
is diet-free – just making lifestyle changes. It’s
something I can stick with. I began watching Zonya’s
TV show on PBS, and Sherry McLaughlin does
an exercise segment. So, when I got the invitation to
another HAP wellness program,
MoveWell Every Day
led by Sherry McLaughlin, I quickly signed up.”
At the event, she met Laura. They connected on
HAP Wise Woman
Facebook page, and Laura
encouraged Noor to sign up for a 10K run (6.2 miles).
Laura, Sherry and Noor all ran the race and were
support buddies by checking in on one another’s
training via Facebook. “My daughters, ages 17 and 22,
ran the 10K with me,” Noor adds.
“At home, my husband, daughters and I are eating
healthier, and my friends at work and I are exchanging
healthy recipes and working with management to use
one of the meeting rooms for exercise. I can’t believe
how much better I feel. I have so much more energy
and endurance! We’re supporting each other and
making better choices.”
Your chances of
becoming obese increase
by 57 percent if you have a
friend of the same gender
who has become obese.
Want a healthy friendship? “Like”
HAP Wise Woman
on Facebook! When
you “like” our healthy tips and recipes,
your Facebook friends can see them.
HAP member Noor Taha, (middle) and her daughters
Christina and Nuhad prepare for the Martian Marathon 10K.