Second-hand fatness

ShooterMcGavin

Go back to your shanties.
May 25, 2005
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#1
Someone sent this to me after I mentioned the Santa story in another thread.

Apparently, it's not your fault that you're fat. It's all your friends. They make you fat by being fat themselves. It's contagious man. :icon_roll

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12237644

A new study suggests that your best friend's weight may be very influential in determining whether you'll gain or lose weight over the years. The research documents the spread of obesity from person to person in a study of more than 12,000 people.

The Office Doughnuts

Helen Hancock, a nurse in Washington, D.C., is trying to take off the weight she has gained over the years. She says it's hard to resist the Krispy Kreme doughnuts that one of her friends brings into the office every Friday.

"They smell wonderful," says Hancock. "It's not just one doughnut you eat. It's generally two doughnuts!"

Many of us face office temptations. But researchers think there's more to the spread of weight gain than simply copying a friend's food choices.

"Sharing a doughnut is obviously important," says James Fowler, Ph.D., who studies social networks at the University of California, San Diego. "But what's even more important are the ideas that we share with one another."

Our ideas about what's a normal amount of food or exercise, and what counts as a normal body size, all seem to be influenced by the people to whom we're connected. And researchers believe these "norms" ultimately shape our weight.

Fowler teamed up with Harvard Medical School's Dr. Nicholas Christakis to study this phenomenon. Together, they documented the spread of obesity in one town in Massachusetts.

Recreating a Social Network

Christakis and Fowler used data collected by the long-term Framingham Heart study to recreate a social network. This study included pairs of spouses, groups of siblings and next-door neighbors. Researchers even had old paper records where people had written down the names of close friends.

"What we were able to do is computerize these archived, handwritten records," Christakis says, "and reconstruct this densely inter-connected social network."

The people in the Framingham study gained weight at about the same rate as the rest of America during the 30 years they were studied.

And once Christakis and his colleagues assembled a bird's-eye view, they discerned patterns.

But Christakis says they found the strongest patterns among friends.

Researchers found that a person's chance of becoming obese increased by 57 percent if that person's close friend became obese. If it was a sibling or a spouse, the person's risk went up by more than one-third. Next-door neighbors, however, had no influence at all.

The results appear in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Weight Gain and Weight Loss: Same Phenomenon

If the scope of this social influence is impressive, Christakis says the beauty is that it seems to work in both directions.

"The same kinds of phenomenon that contribute to an obesity epidemic could potentially be harnessed to the reversal of it," he says.

That's because researchers also saw that when one person loses weight, it contributes to other people around them losing weight, too.

Complexity of Obesity

Experts say this study shouldn't be used to blame fat people for making other people fat. (O RLY?)

"There's enough stigma already," says Kelly Brownell, Ph.D., a researcher at Yale University.

A lot of factors influence obesity. Genes have a strong influence, as does income. Brownell says he would like to see more focus on prevention.

Since there's a domino effect to weight gain and weight loss, researcher James Fowler says people can use this to their advantage.

The take-home message here, says Fowler, is that if you're interested in losing weight, "you really need to get your friends and family involved in the process."
 

Plunkies

Registered User
Jun 28, 2006
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#2
Isn't that like saying second-hand smoke is when you smoke your friend's cigarettes?
 

Kris_LTRMa

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Nov 17, 2006
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#4
See that? I've been saying for years that it wasn't my fault. Yessss, I knew that some day my argument would be upheld :haha7:
 

Kris_LTRMa

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#5
Seriously, I don't buy it. Your friends aren't the ones putting the food into your mouth. Your friends aren't sitting on you so that you can't even walk around the block to get some exercise.

The only excuse for being fat, other than the obvious - laziness - is if you have a real medical condition. But that has nothing to do with your friends.
 

WaddleDoodle

Creepy? We're the CIA. It's what we do.
Mar 15, 2005
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#7
Seriously, I don't buy it. Your friends aren't the ones putting the food into your mouth. Your friends aren't sitting on you so that you can't even walk around the block to get some exercise.

The only excuse for being fat, other than the obvious - laziness - is if you have a real medical condition. But that has nothing to do with your friends.
QFT. I eat with a bunch of fatties, and I make sure I have water instead of soda, a salad instead of a double-cheeseburger.

By the same logic, shouldn't they be getting slimmer because I'm having less to eat?
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
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#8
i say at least once a week "im not the fucking food police"
 

LiddyRules

I'm Gonna Be The Bestest Pilot In The Whole Galaxy
Jun 1, 2005
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#10
Wow, this is shocking. If you hang around with fat people who keep eating and eating and eating, and you join in, you will get fat too? I need more research to believe this.

Wasn't this already proven when men get fat when they're wife's pregnant?

"They smell wonderful," says Hancock. "It's not just one doughnut you eat. It's generally two doughnuts!"
Is it? Do I need to say how much that explanation point bothers me? Imagining her fat perky voice saying "two donuts!" in some hideous "what are you gonna do?" way.
 

Kris_LTRMa

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#11
Is it? Do I need to say how much that explanation point bothers me? Imagining her fat perky voice saying "two donuts!" in some hideous "what are you gonna do?" way.
Well, in her defense ... if she went to Dunkin' Donuts, their #1 combo is 2 donuts and most people think you're getting a price break if you order a combo (you do but it's maybe 2 cents). So if you're going to "save" money ordering the combo with 2 donuts wouldn't you want to do that?

See? She's not a fat person - she's a frugal shopper :action-sm

I used to be that person. Now I order just a coffee and nothing else because they make good coffee & I'm not going to waste the calories I'm burning at the gym on donuts :D
 

LiddyRules

I'm Gonna Be The Bestest Pilot In The Whole Galaxy
Jun 1, 2005
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#12
So if you're going to "save" money ordering the combo with 2 donuts wouldn't you want to do that?
A) No. B) If yes, save the second donut for later or give second donut to a homeless person.
 

Creasy Bear

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Mar 10, 2006
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#14
Reminds me...

Back when I used to work in a hospital...

The OB floor (where the womenseses are birthin' babies) was notorious for having the fattest nurses in the hospital. The average weight for an OB nurse went about 240 lbs. The joke was... to be a OB nurse you had to pass "the test"... they'd throw a pizza up in the air and you had to eat it before it hit the ground.

The nurses station was like a 24 hour smorgasbord of crappy, unhealthy food... cookies, Entenmann's cakes, Sara Lee pound cakes, Toblerones, etc...

So one day a rep from a drug company pays a visit to the OB floor, and it's customary that they always bring some sort of lunch or food for the staff... so this rep comes in and he's carrying two big Dunkin Donuts boxes, one in each hand, he puts them down at the nurses station and within seconds the heifers are all crowding around like wolves on a dying sheep... ready to pounce. So one of then lifts the lid with her pudgy sohsitch fingers and....

OH, SNAP!

One box is filled with fruit... apples, oranges, bananas... and the other is filled with veggies... carrots, celery sticks, etc...

You should have seen the looks on those fat broad's faces... priceless... you would've thought the box was filled with dog crap, or something radioactive.

They all shot the rep looks of disgust, and scurried away from the healthy food like it was kryptonite... I think I even saw one make the sign of the cross to ward off the evil.

Fattys. :haha7:
 

LiddyRules

I'm Gonna Be The Bestest Pilot In The Whole Galaxy
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#15
The OB floor (where the womenseses are birthin' babies) was notorious for having the fattest nurses in the hospital. The average weight for an OB nurse went about 240 lbs.
Lady: "Where's my baby?"
Nurse: *belch*
 
Feb 20, 2006
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#16
What happened to the good old days when fat people were mercilessly ridiculed? Peer pressure people!
 

weakside

He was stupid. I was lucky. I will visit him soon.
Dec 9, 2004
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#17
Yeah, temptation is tough but it is not an excuse.
 

Kris_LTRMa

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Nov 17, 2006
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#19
What happened to the good old days when fat people were mercilessly ridiculed? Peer pressure people!
it's now politically incorrect to ridicule fat people. It violates our "rights" and makes us feel badly about ourselves....that's right - it's your fault we're fat.

I really hope everyone realizes I'm fucking joking
 

Xyn

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Mar 3, 2005
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#20
B) If yes, save the second donut for later or give second donut to a homeless person.
Communist.

If a homeless person has any type of pastry, the only American thing to do is stomp on it, in the name of our lord.

All hail the church of Opie.
 

DeltaPin

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Feb 17, 2005
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#21
"They smell wonderful," says Hancock. "It's not just one doughnut you eat. It's generally two doughnuts!"
So I guess the friends are holding her down & shoving the donuts down her throat. Trying not picking up the donuts. I'm a fat slob & I never touch the donuts people bring to the office, wait a 1/2 hour & there usually all gone.

A) No. B) If yes, save the second donut for later or give second donut to a homeless person.
He didn't earn that.