Dear Dr. Mo: Could obesity be contagious?
Dear reader: Obesity is of course not infectious per se but it’s well known to be ‘socially contagious’ and in that sense your question is spot on – eating habits of eating companions or groups exert significant influence on us; and we are mostly unaware of this fact.
One is more likely to be overweight if one has a lot of friends who are overweight and a very good way to gain weight is to have lunches or dinners with other people, especially if they are overweight.
On average, if you grab a meal with a friend, you will eat about 35% more than what you would eat if you were eating alone.
If you are eating in a group of 4, you will eat about 75% more and in groups of 7 or more people, you will probably eat 96% more! Continue reading