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Old 07-25-07, 04:02 PM   #1
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Don't Hang Out With Fat People

If you have fat friends, you run a higher risk of becoming fat yourself.

This week's New England Journal of Medicine reports on a study that used social network analysis to show that:

Network phenomena appear to be relevant to the biologic and behavioral trait of obesity, and obesity appears to spread through social ties.

A person's chances of becoming obese increased by 57% (95% confidence interval [CI], 6 to 123) if he or she had a friend who became obese in a given interval.

Our study suggests that obesity may spread in social networks in a quantifiable and discernable pattern that depends on the nature of social ties. Moreover, social distance appears to be more important than geographic distance within these networks. Although connected persons might share an exposure to common environmental factors, the experience of simultaneous events, or other common features (e.g., genes) that cause them to gain or lose weight simultaneously, our observations suggest an important role for a process involving the induction and person-to-person spread of obesity.
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Old 07-25-07, 05:55 PM   #2
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Hmmm....
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Old 07-25-07, 07:23 PM   #3
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Bah. Just about everyone I know is heavier than I am. Some of the guys are almost literally twice the man I am (by weight).

Then again, such is life out here at the far end of the bell curve... I'm not a good example for much of anything
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Old 07-25-07, 08:26 PM   #4
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I can believe it ... from personal experience and observation.

If you hang out with an overweight person, it becomes OK to be less vigilant about your diet, and to gain a few pounds. You're not looked down on for doing so ... in fact, the overweight person may even be bullying you to "put a bit of meat on those bones". And this is especially the case if you've got close social ties to the person ... if the person's opinion matters to you (like if the person is a parent or spouse).

It takes a lot of will-power, stubbornness, and even defiance to pick up a carrot stick every time the overweight person picks up a chocolate bar, or to go out for a bicycle ride every time the overweight person pops in a good movie.
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Old 07-25-07, 08:38 PM   #5
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heaven forbid anyone ever take responsibility for their own behaviour/actions........its always easier to blame someone/something else.
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Old 07-25-07, 10:09 PM   #6
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Well if your buddies always want to go out for beer and chicken wings...
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Old 07-25-07, 10:48 PM   #7
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heaven forbid anyone ever take responsibility for their own behaviour/actions........its always easier to blame someone/something else.
Well, to me, studies like this provide information so that people can take responsibility for their actions, by changing their behavior accordingly. I didn't read the part that said "it's okay, it's not your fault, you just have overweight friends." But then, how one interprets things says a lot in itself.
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Old 07-26-07, 01:23 AM   #8
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heaven forbid anyone ever take responsibility for their own behaviour/actions........its always easier to blame someone/something else.
I think you missed the point of the study.
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Old 07-26-07, 03:52 AM   #9
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Fat people piss me off.

Edited to say: Fat people that aren't becoming un-fat.
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Old 07-26-07, 04:12 AM   #10
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Well if your buddies always want to go out for beer and chicken wings...
Bingo...we have a winner!

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Old 07-26-07, 09:48 AM   #11
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It's easy man to put on weight when you're sidetracked, like having a kid. But it's true, almost a d'uh. Change your circle of friends and change your lifestyle.
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Old 07-26-07, 10:58 AM   #12
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My social network revolves around drinking beer, having bbqs and generally being active. There is almost no obesity in the bunch.
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Old 07-26-07, 11:28 AM   #13
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na, I'd say "d'uh".

As a teacher I say socially transmitted behavior(s) and their consequences are as real and measurable as gravity.

It is just nice to see a well respected journal publish it...
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Old 07-26-07, 01:40 PM   #14
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Interestingly enough, friends are more influential than family, and proximity doesn't seem to matter.
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Old 07-26-07, 04:15 PM   #15
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Interestingly enough, friends are more influential than family, and proximity doesn't seem to matter.

You can insult your family and they'll still love you (theoretically), but if you insult your friends, you lose your friends.

So if you and your best friend have a regular "date" for movies and cheesecake/pie/rich and gooey chocolate cake etc. several evenings a week or whatever ... you risk insulting your friend, and losing the friendship, if you suddenly say, "Sorry, I want to have a salad and then go for a ride on my bicycle instead."
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Old 07-26-07, 06:01 PM   #16
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And when you're done insulting them, suggest they do the same - after all, as a friend, you would want to look out for their well being and let them know their eating and physical fitness habits are dangerous to their health.

Or, you could let them keep doing it and be complicit to their disease.
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Old 07-26-07, 06:25 PM   #17
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And when you're done insulting them, suggest they do the same - after all, as a friend, you would want to look out for their well being and let them know their eating and physical fitness habits are dangerous to their health.

Or, you could let them keep doing it and be complicit to their disease.
Trust me on this .... you can talk yourself blue in the face, you can set an example by breaking the no-exercise-and-lots-of-eating habit, you can change your whole lifestyle even risking distancing yourself from the relationship, you can be the most supportive person in the the world, you can book Drs appointments for them, you can buy your friend (or in my case, spouse) a gym membership, healthy food, exercise equipment, motivational books, etc. etc. etc., .... and do you know what will happen ........

Nothing.

Eventually you realize that nothing you say or do will make one teensy bit of difference. And then you have to decide whether you're going to live your life, or their life ... and that is NOT an easy decision to make.

I had 13 years of experience with this subject.
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Old 07-26-07, 06:32 PM   #18
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Trust me on this .... you can talk yourself blue in the face, you can set an example by breaking the no-exercise-and-lots-of-eating habit, you can change your whole lifestyle even risking distancing yourself from the relationship, you can be the most supportive person in the the world, you can book Drs appointments for them, you can buy your friend (or in my case, spouse) a gym membership, healthy food, exercise equipment, motivational books, etc. etc. etc., .... and do you know what will happen ........

Nothing.

Eventually you realize that nothing you say or do will make one teensy bit of difference. And then you have to decide whether you're going to live your life, or their life ... and that is NOT an easy decision to make.

I had 13 years of experience with this subject.
Did you really get divorced just because your husband got fat? Obesity falls under the sickness clause.
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Old 07-26-07, 06:41 PM   #19
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i can see how that would happen...you eat with your friends, they eat crap, you're at their house, they eat crap, you eat crap...you have similar unhealthy lifestyles..for sure it can happen.
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Old 07-26-07, 07:07 PM   #20
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Trust me on this .... you can talk yourself blue in the face, you can set an example by breaking the no-exercise-and-lots-of-eating habit, you can change your whole lifestyle even risking distancing yourself from the relationship, you can be the most supportive person in the the world, you can book Drs appointments for them, you can buy your friend (or in my case, spouse) a gym membership, healthy food, exercise equipment, motivational books, etc. etc. etc., .... and do you know what will happen ........

Nothing.

Eventually you realize that nothing you say or do will make one teensy bit of difference. And then you have to decide whether you're going to live your life, or their life ... and that is NOT an easy decision to make.

I had 13 years of experience with this subject.
+1.

Jack LaLane once said the more relationships break up due to differences in energy levels than any other reason. It was a major factor in my divorce (that, and her anger management issues and the non-existant sex life).
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Old 07-26-07, 07:09 PM   #21
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Did you really get divorced just because your husband got fat? Obesity falls under the sickness clause.
Sure, if the partner has a thyroid condition....but if their "sickness" is caused because they don't take any pride in their appearance, and don't want to break a sweat, and don't want to stop piling food into their pie hole...then No.
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Old 07-26-07, 07:11 PM   #22
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Did you really get divorced just because your husband got fat? Obesity falls under the sickness clause.
No, he was somewhat overweight when we married, and soon after we got married, I hit my highest weight ever.

But then as the years went by, I discovered a real love for cycling, and started to become more active and to want to eat better and live a more healthy lifestyle ... and I started to want to do more things in general (travel, take further education, etc. etc.) ... and he wasn't at all interested in any of that, and he just kept gaining and gaining and gaining ...

It was more of a difference in attitudes and interests.
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Old 07-26-07, 07:16 PM   #23
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Did you really get divorced just because your husband got fat? Obesity falls under the sickness clause.
No it doesn't. In marriage you make a promise to another person "...have and to hold, to cherish,...". Failing to take basic care of yourself, and by extension, your relationship is a breech IMHO. No where in my vows does it mention "now you're stuck with me so I can become a fat slop and die a slow death of health problems and be a boat anchor on your miserable existence." Personally, and opinions will vary widely, this is on about the same scale as infidelity as a death knell for a relationship.

Now back on topic: chicken or egg? Somebody had to be the 'fat friend' first, right?
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Old 07-26-07, 07:44 PM   #24
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Yep, agree 100 percent. Not taking care of yourself is the most unsexy, unattractive thing you can do, and it shows too. You can be overweight, be fit, and look healthy, feel healthy, project a confident exterior. You can't do that if you're unfit.
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Old 07-26-07, 08:20 PM   #25
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No it doesn't. In marriage you make a promise to another person "...have and to hold, to cherish,...". Failing to take basic care of yourself, and by extension, your relationship is a breech IMHO. No where in my vows does it mention "now you're stuck with me so I can become a fat slop and die a slow death of health problems and be a boat anchor on your miserable existence." Personally, and opinions will vary widely, this is on about the same scale as infidelity as a death knell for a relationship.

Now back on topic: chicken or egg? Somebody had to be the 'fat friend' first, right?
This was all on topic in that it related to how relationships effect our dietary and lifestyle choices.

Several years ago I lost someone I loved due to weight gain (170->195) so yeah I’m biased against that. In all fairness it did wake me up to how shallow the world is and gave me motivation to lose the weight (I am now sub 160).

Your post just reflects the modern bas tardization of the wedding vows in that it has become some sort of service contract. Good sex and enjoying activities together is not what marriage is about. Marriage is supposed to be about love and the mutual love brings with it the good sex and the shared activities as a byproduct. People have the order ass backwards. Heck when you people are old you will find that your bodies don’t work anymore; will you still be loved?

This is what love is




Another really unfair part is that guys don’t get any excuses. Think of how many women give themselves a permission slip to gain and retain a very large amount of weight when they have a child?
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