Thursday, 31 July 2008

Another Attack on the Overweight

Breaking news - Your weight no longer has anything to do with what you eat, your exercise levels, or even possibly illness. It has now been 'proven' that if you have fat friends you will gain weight.

Researchers from Warwick, Dartmouth and Leuven universities analysed data on 27,000 people and came to the conclusion that weight gain is the result of social influence. Did you get that? Fat is contagious!

The study found that people who forge close relationships with more rotund friends are more likely to develop a weight problem than those who purposely exclude the plus-sized from their circle. We are apparently influenced by the appearance of those around us and prone to imitative behaviour.

I don't know whether to laugh at the fact that such research was even devised, let alone carried out, or to be angry at yet another excuse to publically degrade the overweight. Is it really possible to completely ignore more likely factors in weight gain? The increase in fast and convenience foods, the drop in exercise levels and modern day aids which take some of the strain out of day to day chores?

Will there ever be a time when it can be accepted that not everyone is built to look the same? That different builds, shapes and sizes is just the way it is and should be celebrated?

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