Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What We Eat Are Influenced By What Friends Eat

Overweight or obese is a major health issue many nations are facing for years. Besides lack of physical activities, many health experts also blame unhealthy foods as the main culprit.

Why do the experts so concern about overweight and obesity? A person who is overweight or obese is more likely to develop various medical disorders including Type-2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and stroke. Some studies also linked obesity to certain kinds of cancer.

Many diet plans are available. But to get rid of the extra weight one has is never easy. One has to be very determined and discipline as well. As a new study suggested, one has also have to stay away from the influence from the peers.

According to a paper published online September 16, 2014 in the journal ‘Appetite’, researchers from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Cornell University revealed that when people share a meal with an overweight person, they are more likely to eat terribly.

82 undergraduate students were asked to eat lunch that included spaghetti and a salad, with an actress. The researchers randomly assigned the students to 1 of 4 conditions: the actress wore a fat suit but served herself more salad than pasta; she wore a fat suit and served herself more pasta than salad; she appeared without the fat suit and served herself more salad than pasta; and she appeared without the fat suit and served herself more pasta than salad.

It is observed that when they are eating with overweight eating companions, regardless of what the actress serves herself, participants ate more pasta. They ate less salad even if the overweight person ate more salad. Why did this happen? It is possible that people feel less motivated to be healthy with someone who is overweight, as posited by the researchers.

The study was neither intended to fat-shame nor to pass the blame for the act of overeating. It, however, provided evidence that the body type of an eating companion and whether she served herself healthily or unhealthily, affected the quantity of food intake. Meanwhile, the findings could also remind people to be more mindful of how much they are consuming by understanding how environment and people around could actually affect the eating habits.

Peer pressure could influence people’s eating behaviors. People tend to eat and exercise to look like their friends and family members. They change their habits to mirror those of their friends without necessarily thinking or talking about an ideal body weight.

In 2011, a study published on May 9 in ‘the American Journal of Public Health’ confirmed that if people have heavier friends, family members, and colleagues, it is more likely that they will be heavier, too. The stronger the relationship between the 2 people, the stronger the link between their weights.

1 comment:

  1. Healthy information worth reading..!
    I agree with the post, friends are the most effective influencers of food. I do skip many times my diet plan in parties and social gatherings. I put forward this same problem in front of my online doctor at evaidya.com. He told some diet balancing tips it really worked well for me. I recommend all to balance your diet if at all you are missing your diet plan.
    Thank you for sharing this post.