Data was analyzed from the project called "M-TEENS" by researchers from the University of Southern California with the participation of 1,111 children and their families. In general, 25% of teens and 75% of adults were diagnosed with obesity, but the results varied from one state to another.
After the analysis of the social environment, habits, and other factors, researchers they found out that the children whose parents worked alongside obese people were likely to gain weight much quicker. The study claims that the main factor that causes the weight gain among the members of one social group is the relationship between these members and their mutual influence on eating habits.
Another wide study was also conducted by researchers from the University of Hawaii. They coined the term "imitative obesity," which means the process of imitation of people who are overweight. It was discovered that obese teens "help" their thin friends gain weight during the observation of 5,000 teens. Experts suggested that if you're going to eat with a friend who's overweight, you'll probably choose to eat the same food as them. This will eventually lead to weight gain.
Other researchers from Harvard Medical School have made the most advanced progress in their theory that obesity can spread from person to person. They have been analyzing a group of 12,000 people for 32 years and have come to a conclusion that if your friend gains extra weight, it is 50% likely that you will gain weight too
These studies are very important and helpful because scientists think that this data can help in the development of new ways of fighting obesity. The aim would be to implement the principles of healthy eating in groups and not individually. With regard to everyday life, their studies prove an old simple truth that we're all aware of, it's always better to lose weight in the company of friends.
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