Thursday, August 2, 2007

Social Aspects of Obesity

A study published in last week's New England Journal of Medicine and funded by the National Institute on Aging suggested that if our friends and family become obese, it will influence whether we become obese as well.

The study found that our chances of becomeing obese go up 57 percent if our friends are obese, 40% if our siblings become obese and 37% if our spouse is, or becomes obese. However, the study suggests that persons of the same sex had relatively greater influence on each other than those of the opposite sex.

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

In my mind and in the mind of the study author, these findings have implications for clinical and public health interventions.


Harry Robinson said...

Does this mean you think I should dump my fat friends if I want to stay thin?

Ellen said...

No Harry.

It think it means that we all need to pay pretty close attention to the amount of food and drink we consume when we are around folks who lack some control in this area.

It also means that the medical community, including the ophthalmic and optometric communities, needs to play a more active role in counseling their patients about making healthier lifestyle choices to help prevent degenerative diseases, including degenerative eye disease.

Science clearly suggests that the risk for developing macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy is much higher in the overweight population.

Harry said...

I have never had an eye doctor ask me about lifestyle habits, other than the standard questionaire we all fill out the first time we visit any doctor. Do those guys even look at our answers?

Ellen said...

The eye care professionals that recommend Biosyntrx formulations to their patients tend to be very interested in disease prevention, so you bet they pay close attention to the intake questionaire their patient fill out at the first office visit.

Big and Beautiful said...

I'm proud of my plus sized body but after reading this blog I've come to relize that my friends are the same size as I am! I Guess I need to watch how I'm eating when I'm with them...or it could get out of hand.