Wednesday, August 08, 2007

How Social Networking is making us fat

Health Researchers in Framingham, Massachusetts, have been running one of the longest ever health study, having started in 1948. Along this time, their scope of study widened and obesity factors soon came into focus.

The researchers now say that it's not where we live that affects our waistlines, it's who we know. In the present context, it means all our friends on Facebook, Myspace or any other brand.

The researchers have found that if one of us becomes fat, the chances that our friends would do so too rise by 57 percent, with the risk increasing to 71 percent in the case of same sex friendships.

The researchers have an explanation for this:

What appears to be happening is that a person becoming obese most likely causes a change of norms about what counts as an appropriate body size. People come to think that it is okay to be bigger since those around them are bigger, and this sensibility spreads


Moreover,
Consciously or unconsciously, people look to others when they are deciding how much to eat, how much to exercise and how much weight is too much.


Do social networks affect other human behaviors?
There is no catalogue of effects as of now.

Meanwhile, next time, think twice before you boast of your number of Facebook friends.

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