If your friends are fat, the chances are you will be as well. That’s what researchers reported in the prestigious, New England Journal of Medicine, August, 2007. A person’s chances of becoming obese went up 57% if a friend became obese; 40% if a sibling did, and 37% if a spouse did. In the closest friendships, the risk almost tripled.

The researchers analyzed the medical records of people in the Framingham Heart Study, a landmark study which has been following the health of residents in that Boston suburb for more than 50 years. They found that it was not the people to whom you are genetically related; rather, the greatest influence in weight gain has to do with your friends. Even friends who are hundreds of miles away have just as much impact on a person’s weight as friends who are living next door.

What are we to conclude from this? Must we get rid of our fat friends? Here’s another possibility: most of the research focus has been on a hunt for obesity genes involved in appetite or in the burning of calories. Treatment has been centered on helping individuals curb their weight by better diets and exercise regimens. With this research it’s clear that it might be helpful to treat obese people in groups rather than individually. We are all interconnected, and if you love somebody as a friend you redefine what an acceptable weight is.


Remember this, there is a ton of research that tells us the more friends you have the healthier you are. If all else fails and you’re little bit heavy, find friends who are a little heavier and you’ll feel better when looking in the mirror.

Last Mask of the Authentic Healer

Nov 30– Dec. 2, 2007
Franciscan Renewal Center, Phoenix, AZ
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