Friends don’t let friends get fat, unless they do

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, these women really need some new friends.
Turns out that all those sausage-laden pizzas from Geraci’s and greasy Grovewood Tavern fries aren’t what are making Clevelanders fat. It’s their choice of friends. According to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine and reported in the New York Times, the friends you choose have more of an impact on your own weight – and attitude toward weight – than any other factor. If a close friend – even one who lives many states away – grows a stylish new beer belly, then you apparently have a 171 percent chance of gaining weight, too. Friends, it seems, affect each other’s perceptions and ideas of what constitutes “fat.” It makes sense, really. Don’t you feel much better gorging on a slice of mocha cheesecake at the Cheesecake factory, knowing your friend is consuming the same truckload of calories? Of course, it works both ways. If a close friend suddenly becomes obsessed with dieting, chances are you’ll follow suit. But what’s more likely to happen, according to completely unscientific data, is that both of you will vow to diet, succeed for a day or two, then suddenly find yourself in front of the Gelateria. And really, a little bit of ice cream never hurt anyone, right? Especially if you have two spoons. – Rebecca Meiser
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