Don't Inhale -- Obesity's Contagious!
Having trouble losing weight? According to several news outlets, the trouble may be your friends.
âKeep your heavier friends close, but your thinner enemies closer,â said CBS medical reporter Dr. Jon LaPook.
On the July 25 âEvening News,â LaPook worried that obesity is âa socially contagious disease spreading person-to-person almost like a virus.â
âBoth obesity and thinness are socially contagious,â the studyâs co-author James Fowler told USA Today. Fowler is an associate professor of political science at the University of California-San Diego.
Each news outlet took the study seriously and offered advice for those trying to lose weight.
âIf you are trying to lose or control your weight, pick your friends carefully,â said John Foreyt, an obesity researcher at
CBS medical reporter Dr. Jon LaPook told viewers that the study also suggested friends can help you lose weight â by partnering with you to work out and eat better.
âSo either follow their example [two friends losing weight] or keep your heavier friends close, but your thinner enemies closer,â LaPook advised.
But those news outlets left out a ridiculous claim of the study â apparently obesity can spread through telephone and e-mail contact.
âConversely, the study claims that people can âcatchâ obesity from their family and friends â even if the corpulent acquaintance lives 500 miles away,â noted the Center for Consumer Freedom.
The media often worry about the âepidemicâ of obesity. On July 23, NBC and CBS touted another study that suggested diet soda caused heart disease, despite the studyâs authors admitting the data was inconclusive.