Other studies show that having healthy friends is associated with better personal health. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, people who have friends who becomes obese are 57% more likely to pack on the pounds themselves.
There’s also the spirit of competition at work and the desire to “fit in with the group”, so that a person with skinny friends may alter their eating habits to be more acceptable to their buddies.
Researchers polled over 3600 young and middle-aged Australian women about their eating habits and their physical activity level. They also inquired about the health habits of their close friends.
Not surprisingly, women who hung out with healthy friends were more likely to practice good health habits themselves. Is good health contagious?
If your close friends are overweight, inactive or unconcerned about their health, they may be subtly influencing your own health habits, especially if you spend time eating out together. Is it time to find some healthier role models?
Why not join a walking or running club in your area and get to know some people who value health and fitness? Take a class at the local YMCA or a healthy cooking class, and team up with people who will motivate you to live healthier.