It's sad but true: the majority of Americans have weight issues.
In 2013 the American Medical Association deemed obesity a disease, but that doesn't mean that maintaining a healthy weight is out of our control.
In fact, there are many social factors that can influence our weight, and it is useful to understand what they are in order to maintain a healthy weight. Consider these statistics:
- Having 4 obese friends doubles your chance of become obese
- If you live in the Midwest or the South you are more likely to be overweight than if you live in the Mountain states or the Northeast
- Children with parents who are obese are 3 times more likely to be obese themselves
- If your spouse is obese, your chances of becoming obese increase 37%
- If your sibling is obese, your chances of becoming obese increase 40%
So what does this all mean? Surely you can't cut off ties with your mother or your best friends. But you can be aware of social influences and take steps to make sure you surround yourself with people who live the healthy lifestyle you aspire to.
Ask your neighbor if you can accompany her to the farmer's market for fresh produce this weekend. Ask your co-worker to share her favorite healthy recipes. Join a walking group and get to know others who make exercise a priority. Inch your way into circles of people who strive to live healthy lives. The result? You'll develop one, too.