Monday January 20, 2020

Research Reveals: It’s Your Friend’s Company That Can Turn You Obese

Social contagion in obesity means if more people around you are obese, then that may increase your own chances of becoming obese.

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Unhealthy food promotes obesity. pixabay

Besides genes and an unhealthy diet, your friends can also play a role in making you overweight, says a study, which found that obesity can spread through communities like a ‘social contagion’.

The study showed social circles can influence a person to become obese, suggesting the risk of becoming overweight increases if one moves to an area with a high rate of obesity, the Daily Mail reported.

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On the other hand, the risk of the parent becoming obese or overweight went up five per cent for increase in every one per cent of obesity in the area. Pixabay

“Social contagion in obesity means if more people around you are obese, then that may increase your own chances of becoming obese. Subconsciously, you are affected by what people around you are doing,” said Ashlesha Datar at the University of Southern California.

“If you move to a community where a sedentary lifestyle is the norm, you join that. There is this social influence,” Datar said.

For the study, the team included 1,314 parents and 1,111 children of US Army personnel at 38 bases.

The chances of becoming overweight or obese for a teenager increased four-six per cent for rise in every one per cent in the obesity.

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If you move to a community where a sedentary lifestyle is the norm, you join that. There is this social influence,” Datar said. Pixabay

On the other hand, the risk of the parent becoming obese or overweight went up five per cent for increase in every one per cent of obesity in the area.

Also Read: Authorities Scroll Through Social Media Violations Of Laws Restricting Political Parties, As It Forms Thailand’s Election “War Room”

The longer the families lived there, the more likely they put on weight, the report said.

Obesity can be caused by many variables, and previous research has shown living in certain communities carries a higher risk of obesity than living in other communities. (IANS)

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Lazy Infants More Likely to Suffer From Obesity

Less active babies have higher obesity risk

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Infant obesity
Less active infants may accumulate more fat, which in turn may put them at risk for obesity later in life. Pixabay

Parents, please take note. Researchers have revealed that less active infants may accumulate more fat, which in turn may put them at risk for obesity later in life.

For the study, published in the journal Obesity, researchers tracked the physical activity levels of 506 infants using small ankle-worn accelerometers for four days per tracking period at ages 3, 6, 9, and 12 months.

For each tracking period after 3, average physical activity increased by about four per cent, in line with infants becoming generally more mobile and active over the course of their first year.

Among infants, higher physical activity measured by the accelerometer was associated with lower central adiposity, a measure of lower-torso fat accumulation, the study said.

Infant obesity
These days, infants are spending more and more sedentary time in car seats, high chairs, strollers and it may lead to obesity. Pixabay

“This is the first study to demonstrate an association over time between higher levels of objectively measured physical activity and lower central adiposity in infancy,” said study lead author Sara Benjamin-Neelon from Johns Hopkins University in US.

The study was part of a larger study of infant growth and obesity, called the Nurture study, which covered 666 mothers and their infants from the greater Durham, North Carolina, area during 2013 to 2016.

Of this group, the research team were able to get adequate accelerometer data for 506 infants.

“Some evidence suggests that the earlier you can get infants crawling and walking, and providing them with opportunities to move freely throughout the day, the more you can help protect them against later obesity,” Benjamin-Neelon said.

The study found that among the infants in the study, an increase in recorded activity by one “standard deviation”–essentially a standard proportion of the range of the data–was associated with a small but significant decrease in central adiposity.

Also Read- Males Have Higher Risk of Suffering from Cancer: Study

The researcher noted that larger, longer-term studies will be necessary to determine the sustained effect of infant physical activity, but that preventing extended periods of inactivity for infants will almost certainly be good for them.

“These days, infants are spending more and more sedentary time in car seats, high chairs, strollers–and perhaps we haven’t thought enough about the developmental ramifications of these types of restrictive devices,” Benjamin-Neelon concluded. (IANS)