For teens, being overweight may beget having overweight friends, according to a new study.
from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern
California conducted surveys among 617 students age11 to 13 in four
schools around Los Angeles. About two-thirds of the participants were
girls, and most were in the seventh grade. After height and weight
measurements were taken, the students' body mass index scores were
Being overweight was linked to various factors, including being more likely to have overweight friends than other students who were of normal weight. Overweight girls were more apt to name more friends their normal-weight peers, but were also slightly less likely to be named as a friend.
In the study, the authors wrote, "These results have two important implications: the social contagion of obesity may start at a young age, and social affiliations by obesity status may have far-ranging consequences for adolescent development." The study is published in the August issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Source: Los Angeles Times